Uplifting Athletes wrapped up its 2018 Lift For Life season with nine more college football student-athlete led chapters holding events in June and July.
Penn State, Illinois, Notre Dame, NC State, Clemson, Northwestern, Syracuse, Baylor and Fordham each designed their own playbook for their Lift For Life.
“The fun part for me was going to each school. Every school is so different. I love seeing the character of the chapter leaders and the roots of the strength program come through in each event,” said Uplifting Athletes Director of Chapter Development Brett Brackett. “Despite the differences between each school, there is no difference between the kid with a giving heart.
“It doesn’t matter what their school colors are. The student-athletes are just awesome to be around. It doesn’t matter if they are on full scholarship at a big school or they are paying money to attend an FCS school, the energy and passion for helping others is infectious.”
The nine events combined to raise more than $185,000 for Uplifting Athletes in support of our mission to inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope and our commitment to our four charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.
“This being my second year, I was able to get to know the guys more this year,” Brackett said. “We are also able to use the strength of the schools and the chapter leaders to enhance their experience and expand their impact through it.”
Here’s a quick recap of the nine events.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions kicked off the summer event schedule on June 30th with their 16th annual Lift For Life. The event turned out a stellar crowd of nearly 1,000 people. The crowd-friendly event was a huge hit once again and chapter co-president Steven Gonzalez put on a show with 34 reps on the bench press.
Illinois: The Illini followed with their 6th annual Lift For Life inside of Memorial Stadium on July 8th. This event was closed to the public, but the media on hand did a great job telling the story to help bring awareness to the rare disease cause.
Notre Dame: On July 20th, the Fighting Irish held their 2nd annual Lift For Life. The Notre Dame event was closed to the public and the workout details were a surprise to the team. The Notre Dame Chapter did a fantastic job engaging all their teammates and creating awareness through social media.
NC State: The Wolfpack held their event on July 18th under the roof of NC State’s indoor practice facility. The NC State Chapter has one of the more unorthodox Lift For Life events. It is open to the public and the fans were lining up at the door to get a chance to watch the Wolfpack in action and support the rare disease cause!
Northwestern: The Wildcats held their Lift For Life on July 19th in Northwestern’s brand new weight room. The scene in the weight room overlooking Lake Michigan was fiery as the team pounded out 225-pound bench max reps.
Clemson: The Tigers held their annual Lift For Life with the offense and defense going head-to-head on the bench press 225-pound max repetitions competition. Just like in years past, the Clemson Chapter put forth a great effort.
Syracuse: The Orange hosted their Lift For Life on July 20th and the event was open to the public. Syracuse did a particularly good job leveraging its platform to raise awareness for rare diseases with chapter President Sam Heckel speaking publicly about battling a rare disease while playing major college football.
Baylor: The Bears jumped back onto the scene this summer as they held their first Lift For Life event since 2015. It was a very competitive environment in the Baylor weight room and the extra incentive to push out a few extra reps provided enough motivation for several members of the team to hit a 225-pound max bench press personal best during Lift For Life.
Fordham: The Rams held the final Lift For Life of the summer on July 31st during an open weight room workout leading up to the start of camp. Fordham chapter leaders displayed their passion for the cause by empowering their teammates to sign up to raise money and awareness in a short promotional window. The Fordham chapter quickly engaged supporters and took advantage of their social media networks to run a successful event.