Penn State Lift for Life Raises More than $73,000

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The 14th Annual Penn State Uplifting Athletes “Lift for Life” was a tremendous success on Saturday. The preliminary fundraising total for the 2016 event is more than $73,000 to benefit rare disease research and patient programs, which is the highest total in the country. The 14-year total for “Lift for Life” is now nearly $1.2 million.

(Photo of Koa Farmer (7) and Colin Castagna (46) participates in the tire flip during the 14th annual “Lift for Life,” the signature event of the Penn State Uplifting Athletes chapter at the Penn State Lacrosse Field. Photo by Mark Selders/Courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

As of Monday morning, Penn State football student-athletes have raised slightly more than $73,000 for rare disease research and patient programs. 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 PJ Mullen, Director of Player Development and Community Relations at 201 Lasch Football Building, University Park, Pa 16802.

With the $73,000 in contributions from this year, nearly $1.2 million has been raised in the battle against rare diseases 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 the Penn State Lacrosse Field for the fifth consecutive year, with approximately 2,500 fans in attendance. The offense posted a 35-27 victory over the defense during the six strength and conditioning competitions. The exhibition featured seven rotations of one-on-one battles through six events before the tug of war. The event started with the 225-pound bench press and continued with the new 160-pound overhead press. The 480-pound “farmer” hold, obstacle course relay, tire flip and sled push/pull relay rounded out the slate. The final tally was based on head-to-head victories in each individual rep and the tug of war competition.

The 2016 Penn State Lift for Life included a kids clinic for the third year in a row, which was run by the Nittany Lion freshmen football student-athletes. The event concluded with an autograph session with team.

Penn State Uplifting Athletes would like to thank the following groups and organizations for their support of the 2016 Penn State Lift for Life: Best Event Rentals, Rotelli, Culligan Water of Bellefonte, Pa., WPSU, Penn State Football Parent Association, B94.5, ESPN Radio 1450/Forever Broadcasting, Keystone Sports Network, Fight On State Magazine, Michael Shimko Memorial Golf Classic, Narber Family Field Day, Willie Family Scarves, Anthony Zettel’s Reps for Rare Diseases, Betty Lou Rinehart Memorial Gifts, Dawn Bronson Memorial Gifts, friends and family o Becky & Jarred Himes, Learfield Sports, Success with Honor, Penn State men’s basketball, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, Penn State Office of Physical Plant and Penn State strength, training and equipment staffs.

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 event is organized by Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes. Penn State football team members serving as 2016 Uplifting Athletes officers are: defensive end Garrett Sickels, president/director of operations; offensive lineman Ryan Bates, director of player relations for underclassmen; linebacker Jason Cabinda, co-director of player logistics; offensive lineman Tom Devenney, secretary; quarterback Trace McSorley, co-director of player logistics; and offensive lineman Andrew Nelson, treasurer. Additionally, linebacker Brandon Bell, safety Joe Berg, offensive lineman Brian Gaia, wide receiver Gregg Garrity, cornerback Grant Haley and offensive lineman Charlie Shuman will serve on the executive committee.

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 that spans all major conferences, Uplifting Athletes has had an economic impact of more than $400 million on the rare disease community. For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit

The Uplifting Athletes Chapters are: Penn State, Arizona, Colgate, Illinois, Penn, Northern Arizona, Northwestern, Princeton, Syracuse, Baylor, Florida State, Maryland, Notre Dame, St. Francis (Pa.), Boston College, Fordham, Nebraska, South Carolina, Washington, Clemson, NC State, Stony Brook and Georgia Tech. Each chapter is inspired by patients from approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as ALS, Aplastic Anemia, Castleman’s Disease, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos, Ewing’s Sarcoma, Fanconi Anemia, Kidney Cancer, Leukemia, MS, Neuroblastoma, pediatric brain cancer etc.).

Penn State opens the 2016 campaign against Kent State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, September 3.

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