Don’t tell Penn State offensive guard Eric Shrive that he won’t be able to reach his goal.
Shrive, the president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter, has set a goal for the organization to raise $300,000 this year, which would shatter last year’s $110,000 total.
“I think it’s possible,” Shrive said. “I’m really going to push harder than ever this year.”
Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization which aligns college football with rare diseases. Penn State’s fundraising effort focuses on kidney cancer. Since the chapter’s founding in 2003, it has raised over $700,000 for kidney cancer research and awareness. Shrive aims to crack the $1 million mark if the goal is reached.
“We’re really hoping the fans get behind us and help us achieve this goal,” Shrive said. “It really shows the nature of what we’re all about here at Penn State.”
Shrive, the recent Rare Disease Champion, has set his personal goal at $31,000 which would put him over the $100,000 mark during his five years at Penn State.
The annual fundraising effort culminates into the Lift for Life event, which is set for July 12. This year, however, the Uplifting Athletes team added a special fundraiser to help reach its goal.
The Iron Lion t-shirt, made popular by strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald, was initially only made available to the Penn State football team. Due to popular demand, the team decided to make them available to the general public with proceeds going toward the Uplifting Athletes initiative.
“We were seeing a lot of people interested in the shirts through Coach Fitzgerald. We thought it would be a great idea to raise some funds for Lift for Life,” Shrive said. “It’s a great opportunity for us as an organization to reach out and offer this authentic Iron Lion shirt to the fans.”
The shirts are available for $50 at the Family Clothesline downtown or on their website pennstateclothes.com. All proceeds from the shirt go directly to Uplifting Athletes and fighting kidney cancer.
“The back of these shirt say together we are stronger,” Family Clothesline representative Caroline Gummo said. “That’s how you know that these are the shirts where all the proceeds are going to Uplifting Athletes.”
Several stores downtown have produced “knock-off” Iron Lion shirts that aren’t the officially licensed Nike Dri-FIT variety. The Family Clothesline is the only store carrying the official Iron Lion shirts where 100 percent of the sales goes directly to the charity.
“We’re real happy Family Clothesline was able to help us out,” Shrive said. “They’ll be for sale through Arts Fest weekend.”
Channel your inner-Craig Fitzgerald, grab your Iron Lions t-shirt, and head on over to Lift for Life during Arts Fest weekend to watch the squad shatter their record.