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Penn State Football: Weighty Numbers at Nittany Lions' Lift For Life

by on July 09, 2011 7:34 PM

For the ninth consecutive year, Penn State’s football players gathered on Friday for a midsummer’s night dream:

Help stamp out kidney cancer.

The event is called Lift For Life, and was staged by the Penn State (and founding) chapter of Uplifting Athletes – a nonprofit organization that helps college football teams raise awareness of and raise money to fight rare diseases.

Scott Shirley, a former Nittany Lion, heads Uplifting Athletes and was a key organizer of Penn State’s first Lift For Life in 2003. He was motivated by his late father’s fight against kidney cancer.

On Friday at Holuba Hall, their indoor practice facility on campus, the Nittany Lions continued to do their part. With hundreds of fans looking on, dozens of Penn State players took part in 11 strength and conditioning events.

Admission donations, a silent auction and hundreds of sponsors helped the Penn State players raise nearly $100,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.

You can still donate by visiting the Penn State Uplifting Athletes’ web page.

Like Shirley, the family of Lift For Life vice president Eric Shrive, an offensive lineman from Scranton, has been touched by kidney cancer. Shrive’s uncle had a kidney removed two weeks ago and he was among those at the event on Friday.

You can see below that Shrive was the No. 1 fundraiser for the event, as we take a look at the 2011 edition of Lift For Life by the numbers. (What’s a sports event without stats?)

BY THE NUMBERS

$600,000 – dollars raised by Lift For Life over the past nine years.

$94,585.09 – money raised by the 2011 Lift For Life.

58,240 -- Americans diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2010, according to the National of Institute Health’s website. That’s roughly the number of people who filled James Stadium in Tampa to watch Penn State in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.

$25,020 – record number of dollars raised by one player: Shrive in 2011, breaking his record of $8,500 set last year.

$10,880 – dollars raised by junior Mike Farrell, the president of the 2011 LFL; it is the second-highest total in LFL’s history.

175 – different sponsors of Shrive (the largest sponsorship of $1,500 was from a Scranton-area business).

76 – players who competed, including two quarterbacks: Matt McGloin and Paul Jones.

18 – four-man teams, all comprised of current Nittany Lion football players.

11 – grueling events. The toughest? “The Prowler,” said senior tackle Chima Okoli. “It’s that thing over – like a sled with pulleys.” Told the name sounds like a ride at HersheyPark, Okoli said, “That’s very, very far from HersheyPark.”

9 – chapters of Uplifting Athletes, the nonprofit organization headed by Shirley: Boston College, Colgate, Kent State, Maryland, N.C. State, Northwestern, Penn State, Ohio State and Princeton.

1 – the first place team was comprised of Derek Day of Bellefonte, Brian Irvin Orrtanna, Evan Lewis (Gettysburg) and Pat Zerbe (West Lawn).

Earlier coverage:

Penn State Football: Lift For Life Leader Shrives to Raise Money (July 7, 2011)

 



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