Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Southeastern Conference's eighth-annual observance of "We Back Pat" Week officially gets under way on Sunday, Jan. 20, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 27. For the first time, Tennessee fans will have two opportunities in the same week to show their support for the Pat Summitt Foundation.
The first chance comes on Monday, as the Lady Vols play host to Arkansas in a 7 p.m. contest at Thompson-Boling Arena. The SEC Network will have the telecast. UT also will have a second "We Back Pat" branded game on Thursday, Jan 24, as No. 1/1 Notre Dame comes to Rocky Top to face Tennessee in a 7 p.m. contest on ESPN.
Fans are encouraged to wear a "We Back Pat" shirt to both games. "We Back Pat" shirts will be available for sale at the Vol Shop. Each shirt contains a special code for a discounted ticket to both UT "We Back Pat" games.
Orange and purple shakers, courtesy of the Pat Summitt Foundation, will be available at both games for fans to pick up from the Fan HQ table at Section 129 while supplies last.
During Monday's halftime, fans will have the opportunity to meet the 2019 Tennessee softball team and hear a special tribute performance by the Tennessee Pep Band. On Thursday, fans will want to stay in their seats during halftime for the world famous acrobat, Red Panda. Additional promotions and fun can be found at: https://utsports.com/sports/2017/9/27/fan-experience.aspx.
There will be check presentations totaling $102,779 from various events and organizations to the Pat Summitt Foundation prior to the Arkansas game and one from the Pat Summitt Foundation to the Pat Summitt Clinic at UT Medical Center during the first quarter of the Notre Dame contest.
"We Back Pat" Week is celebrated by all 14 teams in the SEC, and many other basketball programs around the world take time to observe the occasion as well. The initiative, which utilizes promotional public address announcements, video endorsements and television exposure to share a very important message, focuses on raising awareness of Alzheimer's disease and The Pat Summitt Foundation's role in fighting it.
The outpouring of support across the conference and around the country has been incredible. The visibility that the SEC brings with the annual week gives the Foundation and its mission national attention to help eradicate Alzheimer's, which prematurely ended the career and life of the greatest coach in women's basketball, Tennessee's Pat Summitt.
"The SEC, its 14 member institutions and fans across the country have played an instrumental role in the growth of The Pat Summitt Foundation and the impact it is making in Alzheimer's care and research," the foundation's executive director Patrick Wade said. "'We Back Pat' Week provides the Foundation an opportunity to express our appreciation and to celebrate what we are accomplishing together in honor of Pat."
Donations by the numbers:
The Food City Charity Challenge donated $12,500.
Salute for a Cure donated $55,000.
Taste of Turkey Creek donated $10,000.
Race for the Summit donated $7,000.
Total Wine and More donated $18,279.