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Ninth Annual Penn State Uplifting Athletes

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Curtis Dukes

July 9, 2011

Watch Several Video Interviews and Footage from Lift for Life

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Ninth Annual Penn State Uplifting Athletes "Lift For Life" was a huge success on Friday, drawing more than one thousand fans and lifting the 2011 total to nearly $95,000 raised to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.

As of Saturday morning, $94,410.09 has been raised for kidney cancer research and patients by Penn State's Uplifting Athletes chapter this year, with additional donations expected. The 2011 total is the chapter's second-highest total, with the 2010 "Lift For Life" netting more than $98,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.

Nearly $600,000 has been raised in the battle against rare diseases by Penn State Uplifting Athletes since the inaugural "Lift For Life" was held in 2003.

Fans can still make a "Lift For Life" donation by visiting the Penn State Uplifting Athletes donation page at:

The `Lift For Life" is an 11-event strength and conditioning competition, with 18 teams comprised of four Penn State Football student-athletes competing on Friday. The event was organized by members of the Nittany Lion Football team, with 15-20 squad members taking an active role in preparations for Friday's event in Holuba Hall. Uplifting Athletes chapter officers provided the leadership, led by Mike Farrell (Pittsburgh), Eric Shrive (Scranton), Mike Yancich (Washington) and Ty Howle (Wake Forest, N.C.).

"On behalf of the team and all our volunteers, we want to thank the fans for supporting the Lift For Life and helping in the battle against kidney cancer," said Farrell, chapter president. "We were really pleased with the crowd and all the interest in the event."

Shrive, a redshirt sophomore tackle, led the squad by securing $25,020 in "Lift for Life" donations. Farrell, a redshirt junior tackle, was second with donations totaling $10,880.



The team earning the highest point total in the "Lift For Life" was comprised of Derek Day (Bellefonte), Brian Irvin (Orrtanna), Evan Lewis (Gettysburg) and Pat Zerbe (West Lawn).The runner-up squad was made up of Kyle Baublitz (York), Emery Etter (Chambersburg), Shane McGregor (Ebensburg) and Jon Rohrbaugh (Ellicott City, Md.).

The third place team was comprised of Jake Fagnano (Williamsport), J.D. Mason (Philipsburg), Tariq Tongue (Flushing, N.Y.) and Jamie VanFleet (Williamsport).

Scott Shirley, Executive Director of Uplifting Athletes and co-founder of the Penn State "Lift For Life" in 2003 was impressed by Friday's event and how it continues to grow.

"It was really cool for me to walk into Holuba Hall for the first time on Friday and see it filled up and all the activity going on," said Shirley, a former Nittany Lion whose father, Don, died from kidney cancer. "In the past, I've been in Holuba all morning helping get ready, so this gave me a different and very appreciative perspective of the work and leadership role the Penn State chapter continues to take."

Uplifting Athletes has grown to nine chapters, with Boston College, Colgate, Kent State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Princeton joining Penn State in the fight against rare diseases. Boston College, Maryland and Northwestern also are conducting Lift for Life events this month.

For more information about Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes SM or the Penn State Football Lift for Life, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit or contact Deloris Brobeck at 814-865-1946 during business hours. Uplifting Athletes, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that operates as a national charter and serves as a uniting force to help change the perception of rare diseases.

About Uplifting Athletes: Uplifting Athletes is a full service national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through research, outreach, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that our university chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (including ALS, Aplastic Anemia, CMT, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos, Ewing's Sarcoma, Kidney Cancer, Leukemia, MS, Neimann Pick Type-C, Neuroblastoma, pancreatic cancer, etc.).


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