Planned Giving

Rosalea Cafego Creates Endowment at CVM to Honor Her Late Father

Photo of Rosalea Cafego and family.UT football legend George Cafego’s legacy belongs to the gridiron, but his daughter Rosalea Cafego is determined that his legacy will also live on through the pets that receive lifesaving care at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. Created by Rosalea in memory of her father, the George Cafego Assisted Care Endowment Fund will be used to help clients of the John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital at UTCVM afford the care their pets need.

 Photo of George CafegoAs a player, George Cafego helped the Vols earn a berth in the 1940 Rose Bowl. After graduation, he had a short stint in professional football before transitioning into coaching, including spending his last thirty years as an assistant for the Vols. However, it was while coaching in Wyoming and living in the dorms in his early coaching days that he had his own brush with a stray puppy, which he adopted and named Piedmont. One night, Piedmont alerted the sleeping residents that the building was on fire, giving everyone time to get out safely. The fire department even awarded the dog a gold medal for his heroic barking. That spirited schnauzer cemented Cafego’s love for animals.

Cafego later instilled this same love and respect for animals in his daughter, Rosalea. “This is one small way that I can give back,” she says.

Rosalea was inspired to fund the endowment by an article she read in the paper about a fund created by the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Cancer Assistance Care Fund to cover cancer treatment costs for clients in financial need at the veterinary medical center. That grant is for three years, but Rosalea knew the need wouldn’t end the day the grant runs out.

“It would be heartbreaking to know that a cat or dog needed help and it couldn’t receive that care because its owner didn’t have the money,” she said.

 Photo of George CafegoRosalea funded the endowment with cash and has provided additional funds in her estate plan that will help in the same way. She hopes her gift will extend the financial assistance of the Petco/Blue Buffalo grant beyond the three years and beyond oncology. She believes her father, who had a deep love for animals, and especially a stray he named Piedmont, would be especially proud that the endowment is named in his honor.


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