For the first time since 2003, Penn State football won't be taking part in the annual Lift For Life event this summer.
Uplifting Athletes, the national organization born out of the first Life for Life at Penn State, announced in a news release that all Lift for Life events at member schools across the country are canceled for this year.
"COVID-19 has led to many adjustments of the college athletic schedule," a press release stated. "The football student-athletes and programs Uplifting Athletes work with face a condensed time frame to prepare for the upcoming season under heightened safety precautions.
"In order to avoid any additional pressure, Uplifting Athletes made the decision to cancel all our annual Lift For Life events this summer."
Uplifting Athletes plans for the event to return in 2021.
"Please stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday, June 22 on how you can help rally support for the Rare Disease Community this summer," the release said.
Lift For Life is the signature event for universities across the country that are part of the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapters that raises money and awareness in the fight against rare diseases. During the afternoon players are pitted against each other in feats of strength such as bench press and tire flip relays. An always popular tug-of-war often concludes the competition.
Over the years it has become a popular spectator event as well, drawing crowds of fans and at Penn State often coinciding with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
The event originated at Penn State in 2003, led by Nittany Lion football player Scott Shirley, who went on to found Uplifting Athletes.
A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and typically lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments. Since its inception, Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $5 million to support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.
To learn more about Uplifting Athletes visit www.upliftingathletes.org