Leroy Rogers looked over the sea of orange at the Hearing and Speech Foundation Away Game Tailgate Party at the East Skybox and remembered a time the room would have been a rainbow of color.
“I remember when very few people wore orange to the games,” Leroy said. “Especially not the students. Then we got the Big Orange going, and the rest is history.”
Leroy said he had a great time at the Tailgate fund-raiser for the Hearing and Speech Foundation, especially catching up with his old friend Coach Johnny Majors.
Coach Majors, accompanied by his wife, Mary Lynn Majors, was guest of honor at the event. The coach greeted old friends and made new ones, but only when the football action featuring the Vols and the Gators on the giant television screens was stopped.
This is the third year for the fund-raiser for Hearing and Speech Foundation, which provides hearing aids and other services to the indigent and underserved. It was the largest crowd to date, and spirits were high despite the Vols falling to the Florida Gators. The beautiful East Skybox offered both inside and covered outside venues to watch the game, a buffet of heavy hors d’ouerves that included Gator bites, wine and beer. At half time, bratwurst and hotdogs were added to the buffet.
Also at halftime, Hearing and Speech Foundation co-founder John Berry introduced three who had been helped by the research conducted by the Hearing and Speech Foundation. They spoke to the audience, telling their stories of success in spite of their hearing losses.
Amanda Horn, board president, and Amanda Womac, executive director, recognized board members and sponsors and awarded door prizes throughout the event. Horn thanked those who attended for helping the foundation “Give the gift of hearing” to those who are in need.
A silent auction and photographs with Coach Majors added to the fund-raising efforts. On board to assist the event were several sponsors, including Alan and Lisa Boeckmann, Fluor Foundation, Woodruff Brewing Co., Mr. and Mrs. Tutt Bradford, John and Sara Berry, Mrs. Roma Renfro, Heritage Log Homes, Hickory Construction, Foothills Bank and Trust, WBIR-Channel 10 and Blount Today.