When the Vols take on Kentucky Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena, fans will have a new way to support coach Bruce Pearl and his fight against cancer through OUTLIVE, the Tennessee Fights to Beat Cancer program. It’s as easy as picking up the phone.
The Feb. 27 nationally televised (12 p.m. tipoff) matchup against No. 2 Kentucky is this year’s OUTLIVE game. All fans, whether at the game or watching on WVLT, are encouraged by coach Pearl to wear their OUTLIVE T-shirts to create an orange-out for cancer awareness. Coach Pearl and WVLT personalities will appear throughout the broadcast to let fans know they can pick up their phones and text or call to directly benefit cancer patients throughout the region through a donation to the OUTLIVE program.
“The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute has a special meaning to us,” Pearl said. “We really appreciate all of the support Tennessee fans have shown for the OUTLIVE program during the past two years. The text and call-in options give fans more chances to help with this tremendous cause. We know that through early detection and proper care, cancer is treatable. We can beat this. Together, we make a difference.”
Beginning at 11 a.m. on gameday, fans can text OUTLIVE to 20222 to have a tax deductible $10 donation to the OUTLIVE program automatically placed on their cell phone bills. This option will remain in place even after the game. Or, if fans prefer, they can call operators at (866) 975-4290 until 10:30 p.m. on Saturday to make a donation. Online donations remain available at http://www.utoutlive.org at any time.
“We are very excited about the opportunity for WVLT to team up with Coach Pearl on this year’s OUTLIVE “orange-out” and put a full-court press on the battle against cancer,” Chris Baker, executive vice president and general manager of WVLT-TV, said. “By giving viewers the opportunity to participate from wherever they may be watching the game, we are truly expanding the awareness of OUTLIVE, well beyond the walls of Thompson-Boling Arena.”
Donations made to the OUTLIVE program directly benefit patients and their families treated at the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute. In the inaugural campaign of the program in 2009, donations exceeded $93,000, which the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute used to provide more than 2,500 free cancer screenings for people throughout the region.
In January, coach Pearl announced plans to raise at least $1 million in five years to benefit cancer patients treated at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute. The money raised will allow for further research, renovation, expansion and construction of the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute facilities, which will advance the care provided for cancer patients and their families.
Pearl initiated the OUTLIVE program in 2009. A graduate assistant with the team, Brooks Savage, created the concept in recognition of former Vol star Chris Lofton, who beat testicular cancer through early diagnosis and treatment and went on to play the entire 2007-2008 season while recovering from his battle with the disease. Inspired by Lofton’s story, OUTLIVE raises awareness of cancer prevention and detection while T-shirt sales and donations raise money to benefit cancer patients.
OUTLIVE T-shirts are available at area Walgreen’s stores, Tennessee Traditions, Alumni Hall and online at http://www.utoutlive.org. Short sleeve tees cost $20, and long sleeve tees cost $22. Adult and children sizes are available. For more information about OUTLIVE donations, call the UT Medical Center Office of Development at 305-6611.