UPDATE: Rivals raise $1,900 for Grundy County Coach after house fire
MONTEAGLE, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: At the Boyd Buchanan vs. Notre Dame game Friday night, it's a coach from Grundy County who was the real winner.
Notre Dame donated parking fees to help Grundy County coach Brad Dees after a fire destroyed his home.
The school gathered $1900 from the parking fees.
PREVIOUS STORY: A local coach is getting help from some unlikely sources after fire destroyed his home. He and his family have lived in their Grundy County house for more than a decade when flames took everything they had.
The fire ignited Friday, on Dubose Street in Monteagle. No one was home, but items he and his family treasured were lost.
"I remember the next morning," Brad Dees said, "I remember looking at her (his wife) and going, you know first time in my life I don't know what to do."
But the Dees family found direction quickly -- because their Grundy County family was there to help.
"There's no words to really express how much they've touched us," Dees said.
Hours after firefighters put the flames out, a friend set up a "Go Fund Me" site to collect donations.
Four days later, the fund had already raised more than $3,000.
"I just can't let something like this take a good man down," said friend David Lowrie, "We're going to be here with him and for him."
What the Grundy County community didn't even expect was for a competing football team in Chattanooga to feel the same way.
"And then to get word the folks at Notre Dame," Lowrie said, "I mean we're not even playing them this week, we play them at the end of the year."
Notre Dame High School will be donating all parking fees - and any additional donations - from Friday night's home game vs. Boyd to the Dees family.
"For that school to step up and help our people, that's just phenomenal," Lowrie said, "It reaches in and gets ahold of you pretty hard."
The Notre Dame Athletic Director, Matt Pobieglo, said he heard about the house fire through one of the athetes' parents.
They came up with the donation idea on their own, Pobieglo said, "It was the right thing to do." The teams are putting all rivalry aside, so the football family can heal.
"We're not even close to done with it yet, we're going to come out of this alright," Lowrie said.
Coach Dees has a wife and two children.
His wife, Cora, is a local EMT and his two boys, Grant and Garrett, take after his father in athletics.