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Penn State Football: Lift for Life Leader Shrives to Raise Money

by on July 07, 2011 7:38 AM

Penn State offensive lineman Eric Shrive is a man on a mission.

For a good cause.

For good reason.

He is vice president of the Nittany Lions’ Uplifting Athletes charity organization, which puts on “Lift For Life” – the player-run strength and conditioning event that raises money for the fight against kidney cancer.

The event is open to the public and runs from 2-7 p.m. Friday in Holuba Hall. For a suggested donation of $5-$10, fans can watch Penn State players compete in about a dozen grueling events, as well as get autographs from past and present Nittany Lions.

In its ninth year, Lift For Life has raised almost $500,000 for the fight against kidney cancer, including $98,000 in 2010. It’s an enterprise run entirely by Penn State players.

For some, like Shrive, the effort really hits home.

“This year it really affected me,” said Shrive, a sophomore from Scranton. “My uncle had to have his kidney taken out two weeks ago. That really hit hard. It was cancer.”

Even before the news rocked the Shrive household, Shrive was focused on leading his LFL teammates in planning and fundraising.

“My goal was $15,000,” Shrive said on Tuesday morning. “I passed that, then set of a new goal of $20. I hope to be at $22 at the end of the day; $23 is my next goal. I don’t know if I’ll get it.”

He already has. Shrive started Thursday at $23,115, to lead all players. Uplifting Athletes chapter president Mike Farrell, a junior offensive tackle from Pittsburgh, is at $9,480.

Overall, the Penn State players started Thursday at $61,707. They hope to finish the weekend in six figures for the first -- “although we don’t put a figure as a goal,” said Shrive.


You can check out a scoreboard of players’ current fundraising tallies.

You can donate to Lift For Life, and sponsor your favorite player, online.


Eighteen teams of four are scheduled to compete, according to FightOnState, with groups starting at 2 p.m. Shrive’s team, "Money Makers," includes Nate Cadogan, Mike Wallace and Curtis Dukes, and it begins at 3:15 p.m.

Best team name? "Can't Stop Stretching McGloin."

That's quarterback Matt McGloin’s team – which includes standout receiver Derek Moyes, showing McG’s savvy in picking the squad’s No. 1 pass-catcher. That group begins the competition at 2:30 p.m.

QB Paul Jones’ team, which includes receivers Shawney Kersey and Justin Brown, starts 3:45 p.m. (Rob Bolden and Kevin Newsome have opted not to compete in the strictly voluntary event.)

Look for the 3 p.m. "American Muscle" quartet of Michael Mauti, Michael Zordich, Drew Astorino and P.J. Byers to draw a lot of attention.

The attention, said Shrive, helps in raising money. That’s job No. 1, especially for Shrive.

“For the past two months, I’ve been at it four to five hours a day,” he said. “I go to class, work out, then basically I’m on the phone the rest of the day or I’m writing thank you letters.

“It’s not like it’s a chore. I enjoy doing it. To watch donations is what it is all about.”

Lift For Life started in 2003, after Nittany Lion football player Scott Shirley’s father was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, commonly known as kidney cancer. Shirley and some teammates then created the fundraising event to raise money and awareness.

The cause has been broadened under the banner of Uplifting Athletes, a network of nine university chapters that includes football players at Boston College, Ohio State, Northwestern, Maryland and N.C. State. UA’s website says the organization is “ part of our outreach program, each university chapter is run by current football student-athletes and adopts a rare disease that has personal meaning to their team.”

On Friday, Penn State’s Lift For Life will include such events as flipping oversized tires, the bench press, leg lifts and carrying 100-point weights. “It will be,” Shrive promises, “our toughest workout of the year.”

Not that he’s complaining.

‘We’ll be out there working for an hour,” he said. “Kidney patients go through their fight for a lifetime.”

Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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