Summitt foundation to fund Alzheimer’s programs
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and her son, Tyler, have formed a
foundation that will fund grants in support of Alzheimer’s
The pair announced the creation of The Pat Summitt Foundation at
halftime of the sixth-ranked Lady Volunteers’ 76-67 loss to No. 1
Baylor on Sunday. They’re accepting tax-deductible donations for
the foundation at www.patsummitt.org.
The Hall of Fame coach announced in August that she had been
diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type but pledged
to continue coaching and show others that they can live their lives
with the disease.
The foundation will offer grants to nonprofit organizations that
research Alzheimer’s, offer treatment to those with the disease or
education about it.
”Tyler and I have decided to join this battle, not just for us,
but also for the millions of families affected by this disease. I
have always told our players, our greatest opportunities are
disguised as our greatest obstacles. It is time to treat this
obstacle as an opportunity and a stepping stone to a cure,”
Summitt said in a videotaped statement shown at halftime.
Former Lady Vols director of basketball operations Danielle
Donehew will administrate the fund. Donehew currently is the Big
East associate commissioner for women’s basketball.
Donehew said she talked with Geno Auriemma, coach of rival
Connecticut, before deciding to take on the job of the foundation’s
administrator. Auriemma not only gave his blessing but also made
the first donation to the fund, she said.
The Tennessee athletic department has also been raising money
through sales of ”We Back Pat” T-shirts for Alzheimer’s programs
chosen by Summitt. The department presented two $75,000 checks to
Alzheimer’s Tennessee and the UT Medical Center during Sunday’s
As part of the ”We Back Pat” game, players from both Tennessee
and Baylor wore purple ”We Back Pat” shirts while warming up.