'Lift For Life' raises record $110,000 for Kidney Cancer Association

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 10th Annual Penn State Uplifting Athletes “Lift For Life” was a tremendous success on July 13 raising the 2012 total to a record total in excess of $110,000 to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.

Preliminary totals show Penn State football student-athletes have raised $110,374 for kidney cancer patients and awareness this year, with additional donations expected. The 2012 total breaks the chapter’s previous record from the 2011 “Lift For Life,” which netted $100,930 for the Kidney Cancer Association.

More than $700,000 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 online.

This year’s Penn State Lift For Life was held outside for the first time, as more than 2,500 fans attended at the new Penn State Lacrosse Field. The new format saw the offense defeat the defense, 176-136, securing the victory by winning all three tug of war competitions, good for 30 points, to conclude the event.

A total of 81 Penn State football student-athletes secured at least one donation for Lift For Life, led by junior guard Eric Shrive (Scranton), who raised $31,868. Senior tackle Mike Farrell (Pittsburgh) was next with $12,755 and fullback J.R. Refice (Jessup) was third.

“A big thank you to everyone who donated and supported the football team by attending Lift For Life,” said Mike Farrell, president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter. “We really appreciate everyone who helped in the Penn State community, from Coach (Bill) O’Brien and Coach Fitz (Craig Fitzgerald), the team, Deloris Brobeck, Kevin Henry and all our great volunteers who helped make the event successful.”

“I would like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Lift For Life event,” said Shrive, vice president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter. “With everyone’s support and generosity this was the best Lift For Life yet. We Are!”

The team was broken into six groups, with two groups from each side of the ball competing against each other: offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen; running backs/tight ends vs. linebackers; and quarterbacks/wide receivers vs. defensive backs.

The competitions included pushing a 15-passenger van weighing approximately 6,400 pounds, flipping a 680-pound tire, a medicine ball toss over a goalpost, a weighted sled pull and push and relays that included stacking three 50-pound bags and carrying weights and the tug of war.

“It’s a hard workout,’ said Fitzgerald, director of strength and conditioning for football. “It was a great day for Penn State and most importantly, for (beating) kidney cancer.”

Founded by Penn State football teammates Scott Shirley, Dave Costlow and Damone Jones in 2003, Lift For Life has continued to build awareness and raise funds for the Kidney Cancer Association. The event is organized by Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes, whose members are on the Penn State football team, led this year by officers Farrell, Shrive, senior linebacker Mike Yancich (Washington), who is the secretary, and junior center Ty Howle (Wake Forest, N.C.), who is head of operations.

Uplifting Athletes has grown to 13 chapters, with Boston College, Colgate, Kent State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Princeton, St. Francis, Notre Dame, Illinois and Fordham joining the Penn State chapter.

For more information about Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes or the Penn State Football Lift for Life, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, 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.

Last Updated July 20, 2012