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Uplifting Athletes Raises $93,685 at Lift for Life

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July 3, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 16th Annual Penn State Uplifting Athletes "Lift for Life" was a tremendous success Saturday. The preliminary fundraising total for the 2018 event is nearly $94,000 to benefit Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to life skills development, patient focused programs and rare disease research. The 2017-18 fundraising total for the Penn State chapter currently sits at $114,686.14. The 16-year total for “Lift for Life” is now nearly $1.4 million.

As of Monday morning, Penn State football student-athletes have $93,658.14 for Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to life skills development, patient focused programs and rare disease research. Donations to the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes and Lift for Life will remain open until September 30. Fans can track the live total or donate by visiting the chapter’s fundraising site at or by sending a donation to Will Flaherty, Director of Player Development and Community Relations at 201 Lasch Football Building, University Park, Pa 16802.

With the $93,658.14 in contributions from this year, nearly $1.4 million has been raised by Penn State Uplifting Athletes since the inaugural Lift for Life was held in 2003. The inaugural event raised just under $13,000.

The Penn State Lift for Life featured more than 100 members of the Nittany Lion football team and was held at Holuba Hall, with approximately 1,000 fans in attendance. The exhibition featured rotations of one-on-one battles in the tire flip, sled pull, bench press and farmer’s hold, followed by tug of war competitions.

The 2018 Penn State Lift for Life included a kids clinic for the fifth year in a row, which was run by the Nittany Lion true freshmen football student-athletes. The event concluded with an autograph session with team.



Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes would like to thanks the following groups and organizations for their support of the 2018 Lift For Life: Family and Friends of Adam Gress, Family and Friends of Dave Mas, Michael Shimko Memorial Golf Classic, AAA Southern Pennsylvania, Brite 3, Keystone Sports Network, PLEDGE IT, Hog Fathers BBQ, Culligan Water of Bellefonte, Pa., WPSU, Penn State Football Parent Association, ESPN Radio 1450/Forever Broadcasting, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, Penn State football strength staff, Nittanyville, Penn State Sport Camps, Penn State marketing interns, Sports Extra, Will Flaherty, Lauren Geppert and Destiny Rodriguez.

Founded by Penn State Football teammates Scott Shirley, Dave Costlow and Damone Jones in 2003, Lift for Life has benefitted cancer research and the rare disease community. The 2018 Uplifting Athletes officers are: offensive linemen Ryan Bates and Steven Gonzlaez, co-presidents; quarterback Trace McSorley, vice president; offensive lineman CJ Thorpe, business liaison; punter Blake Gillikin, treasurer; offensive lineman Alex Gellerstedt, assistant treasurer; offensive lineman Connor McGovern, secretary; linebacker Frank DiLeo, assistant secretary. The executive committee is comprised of: quarterbacks Sean Clifford, Michael Shuster and Jake Zembiec, safety Garrett Taylor, wide receiver Juwan Johnson, offensive linemen Charlie Shuman, Will Fries and Michal Menet and linebacker Jason Vranic.

About Uplifting Athletes: A nonprofit organization founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes inspires the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport. A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and typically lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments. With a network of university chapters run by current college football student-athletes, Uplifting Athletes has established 22 chapters with Division I football programs across the country. Overall since its inception Uplifting Athletes has had an economic impact of more than $400 million on the rare disease community. For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit

Penn State returns 13 starters (8 offensive, 3 defensive, 2 specialists) and 26 additional lettermen. The Nittany Lions open the season at Beaver Stadium against Appalachian State September 1.

More than 6,300 new season tickets have been sold for the 2018 season presented by PSECU. The public single game sale takes place beginning June 26. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.


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