Sept. 18, 2004
Florida may be one of Tennessee's biggest competitors on the playing field, but the Volunteers once again stepped up to aid Floridians affected by the recent hurricanes through three fundraising efforts this past week. The efforts raised more than $17,300 to benefit the American Red Cross' in its efforts to aid hurricane victims in Florida.
The Orange Nation, UT's student athletic pep club, sold Florida inspired t-shirts in preparation for the Gators' trip to Knoxville. Shirt sales began Wednesday in the University Center Plaza. Orange Nation raised $5,000 through t-shirt sales and matched the proceeds, contributing a total of $10,000 to the effort.
The athletics department also partnered with Citadel Communications in their t-shirt drive. Citadel radio stations scheduled live remotes throughout the week raising $5,000.
Along with the fundraising activities of the athletics department, UT hosted similar efforts around campus.
"Lend a Hand, Buy a Band" gave students the opportunity to purchase an orange wrist bands for $1 while aiding Floridians devastated by the hurricanes. Students who purchased the bands signed a banner that will be sent to the University of Florida after Saturday's game. The wrist band sales raised more than $2,300.
"This goes to show that our blood may run orange, but when there is a chance to help those in Florida who have been devastated by these recent storms our students jump at the chance," said Mike Hamilton, UT athletics director.
These are just the most recent in a series of university sponsored fundraisers that began in August with "OrangeAid," an autograph session Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer and selected players did at West Town Mall that raised money for the Red Cross.
"This is a great display of our Volunteer spirit portrayed by our student body," Fulmer said. "This is the same spirit we will see fill our stadium Saturday when Florida comes to town."