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July 11, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes' Sixth Annual Penn State Lift For Life® was a tremendous success, raising the cumulative total in contributions for the Kidney Cancer Association to more than $300,000.
Approximately $75,000 has been raised by Uplifting Athletes, Inc. in 2007-08, whose fiscal year ends in September. The total includes contributions from today's Lift For Life® event.
A record total of 96 Nittany Lion football student-athletes tested their strength and endurance today in an 11-event strength and conditioning challenge in front of several thousand fans, friends and family, who enjoyed the new fan-friendly Lift For Life® layout in Holuba Hall.
The Lift For Life® event is a strength and conditioning challenge that tests the mental and physical endurance of the student-athlete. Athletes are put through a challenging gauntlet of 11 exercises ranging from the traditional bench and leg presses to the less conventional giant tire flip and iron cross.
With the contributions from today's Lift For Life®, more than $300,000 has been raised since 2003 by members of the Penn State football team to aid in the fight against the disease. More than 30,000 Americans are afflicted with kidney cancer each year.
Several kidney cancer patients from across the country were able to connect with one another and the Kidney Cancer Association at the event.
Twenty-four four-person teams competed in 11 events designed to test mental and physical toughness. The exercises for the competitors ranged from the bench press to carrying 100-lb. plates to the giant tire flip.
Second place was secured by the team of defensive end Josh Gaines (Fort Wayne, Ind.), linebacker Tyrell Sales (Butler), safety Anthony Scirrotto (West Deptford, N.J.) and center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis). Gaines, Sales and Shipley also were on the second place team in 2007.
There was a tie for third place. One team was comprised of wide receiver Brett Brackett (Lawrenceville, N.J.), center Mike Lucian (New Market, Md.), guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y.) and safety Mark Rubin (Amherst, N.Y.). Brackett and Rubin were members of the 2007 winning team.
The other third place team was: wide receiver Jesse Alfreno (Grove City), running back Brandon Beachum (Youngstown), tight end Andrew Szczerba (Wilmington, Del.) and linebacker Nate Stupar (State College).
The Nittany Lion football team organized all aspects of the event, with Brackett, Alfreno and wide receiver Patrick Mauti (Mandeville, La.) primarily heading the effort, along with Tyler Ahrenhold (Blue Bell), Brennan Coakley (Newtown, Conn.), Ryan Gmerek (Houtzdale), Kevion Latham (Greensboro, N.C.), Josh Matzkin (Tampa, Fla.), Doug Rheam and Scirrotto, former Nittany Lion and event co-founder Scott Shirley and Deloris Brobeck. The organization's mission is to raise awareness and funds for rare diseases such as kidney cancer as well as to provide a professional enrichment program for the college football student-athlete.
For more information about the Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes, Penn State Lift For Life® or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit http://www.upliftingathletes.org or contact 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.