Scores of people don orange to support Pat Summitt
Elementary and middle schoolers at Pleasant Hill School honor Pat Summitt.
KNOXVILLE (WATE/AP) - Schools, businesses and individuals are all wearing orange Friday to show they're rooting for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.
Thanks to an informal campaign publicized on Facebook and Twitter, people across the nation are wearing orange to show support for Summitt, who announced on Tuesday that she's been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.
The 6 News Facebook page is filled with examples of supporters and their messages.
Shawn Carson first heard about the community show of support on Twitter Thursday, but forgot Friday morning when he was getting dressed. "So I went back home, got my orange shirt and put it on," he said.
The trend also caught on at the Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. "She's my age and for what she's going to be going through, God bless her," said Donna Brechko. "It's heart-breaking."
Phillip Fulmer's daughter, Brittany Fulmer , has a lot of orange in her closet and she definitely wanted to wear it Friday for their close family friend. "I just love Pat. I've grown up with her. She's cherished in this community."
Restaurants also got in on the act, offering lunch time discounts to those showing their Pat pride. "I've called all my bartenders and my hosts and servers for tonight when they come in and told them all to wear their orange today," said Jebbi Smith, at Latitude 35 on Market Square.
Meg Smath is a Vanderbilt fan who works for the University of Kentucky. She says she hates when the Commodores lose to Summitt, but respects the Hall of Fame coach for what she's done for women's basketball.
Summitt's 20-year-old son, Tyler, says he wondered if there was a football game Friday when he saw all the orange on Tennessee's campus.
Pat Summitt spent some time Friday reading all of the comments on Facebook and Twitter and was amazed at the out-pouring of love and encouragement.
She asked how she could thank everyone so the University of Tennessee Media Relations Department shot a quick video.
AP Sports Writer Beth Rucker and 6 News Anchor/Reporter Jill McNeal contributed to this report. Portions of this report copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.