Yes, the offense defeated the defense 30-24 at the 12th annual Penn State Lift for Life on Saturday, but the most important takeaway from the weekend happened off the field. The Penn State football team raised almost $140,000 for Uplifting Athletes, beating last year’s record by over $5,000.
Almost every member of the team competed in some capacity, as the offense and defense competed against each other in the 225-pound bench max, dead lift, sled push, tire flip, shuttle, tug run, and everyone’s favorite event, the tug of war.
Uplifting Athletes, founded by former Penn State football player Scott Shirley, matches football programs with different rare diseases to raise money and awareness for the cause. The Lift for Life is the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort for Penn State’s matched rare disease, kidney cancer. All proceeds from the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes will go to the Kidney Cancer Association.
“There’s a lot of preparation that goes into this, and a lot of fundraising that goes into this, so when we get to come out here and actually do it, it’s a great opportunity for us,” said quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
President Ben Kline, out for the upcoming season with an injury, told the media he leaned on the leaders of past years to make this year’s version of the event such a success.
“Everybody who was involved last year does a great job passing on what they did, what worked, what didn’t and how we can make it better,” Kline said. “I was on the phone with Brett Brackett the other day, just going over stuff for the day — that’s really special, you know, he’s a guy I didn’t even play with!”
With the monotony of summer workouts and camp, the event was a welcome change of pace, according to tight end Adam Breneman. “An event like this is great, not only for the team but for the community,” he said. “In the summer, when we aren’t doing much football stuff as far as the fans and the community goes, bringing everyone together, bringing a couple thousand people out here to watch us work out is a good morale booster for the whole football program.”
“It’s a great organization with great people, and we’re doing a lot of great work for the community,” said Breneman. “To see the impact we make on families around the area with kidney cancer, it’s incredible.”
To donate to this year’s final total, click here!