'We Back Pat' week raising thousands

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It's hard to argue with a little more orange.

"Honestly my wife called me this morning and said 'We've waited enough. We got to get our shirts,'" said Glenn Swift.

Swift is buying into the 'We Back Pat' community, now more than 50,000 strong here in East Tennessee.

And this week it went SEC-wide.

"The other teams wearing the 'We Back Pat' shirts. It's a great outpouring. A wonderful community," he said.

"We've sold more of this item than we've sold of any other item that we've ever carried," said UT Bookstore Marketing Manager Tommi Jamison.

About 20,000 of the tees have been sold here at the UT bookstore and in long game day lines. The iconic top has netted $200,000 for Alzheimer's support and research already.

"Everyone wants to get on board and do whatever they can to support her and her fight against Alzheimer's," said Jamison. "Buying a shirt is just one small step they can take."

Thursday's Lady Vols game is one of 17 SEC women's basketball games and 12 men's match ups dedicated to the Pat Summitt Foundation.

"It's really just going to let the nation see Pat started this foundation. Here's what she can do. If you want to help, get on board," said Jimmy Delaney, senior director of marketing for the university.

Tens of thousands of dollars have already been pledged. Organizers say there's no goal amount in mind -- just spreading awareness about Alzheimer's, our nation's sixth leading cause of death.

"This definitely shows that nobody is alone when it comes to Alzheimer's disease. And nobody should have to walk that journey alone," said Kay Watson with Alzheimer's Tennessee, Inc, one of the benefiting organizations.

For more information, you can click on the link above.

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