During a pivotal time in their football lives, more than 50 NFL prospects used their first opportunities as professional athletes to give back.
The Uplifting Athletes 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases showcased these athletes in a month-long campaign that kicked off in late February with the NFL Combine and ran through March with individual NFL Pro Day workouts.
This year Reps For Rare Diseases set a new standard in terms of the number of athletes participating, the funds raised and awareness generated to shine a spotlight on the Rare Disease Community.
It was an honor to work with 56 outstanding athletes from 21 college football programs across the country. The 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases campaign produced an overall audience of more than 10 million through social media and online news and raised nearly $45,000 to support the rare disease cause.
“Each one of our 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases participants stands out amongst their peers and really understands the position they are in to make a difference,” Uplifting Athletes Director of Sports Impact and NFL veteran Brett Brackett said. “It’s refreshing to work with people that, in the midst of the biggest job interview of their lives, will take the time to think about how they can help someone else.
“Many thanks to all of our participants for helping those affected by rare diseases. I’m proud to work for an organization that makes it easy for athletes to use their platform to make a positive impact on the community.”
With the Rare Disease Community on their hearts and driving them to train harder, the 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases team performed at a very high level including a record 14 athletes exceeding their $1,000 fundraising goal.
Ryan Bates, Trace McSorley and Koa Farmer from Penn State, Nick Allegretti of Illinois, Western Michigan’s Jamauri Bogan, Michigan State’s Jon Reschke, Dom Bragalone from Lehigh, Chris Myarick of Temple, Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill, Jake Collins and Blake Hance from Northwestern, Eric Dungey of Syracuse, Georgia Tech’s Will Bryan and Charlie Volker from Princeton all raised more than $1,000 each.
The proceeds from 2019 Reps For Rare Diseases support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.
This was the fifth consecutive year Uplifting Athletes empowered NFL prospects with the opportunity to use their platform to raise funds and awareness in support of the Rare Disease Community.
The first Reps For Rare Diseases campaign in 2015 was run by former Penn State and current Detroit Lions tight end Jesse James.
“Uplifting Athletes prides itself in helping athletes realize their potential to make a positive impact on the Rare Disease Community,” Brackett said. “Our Reps for Rare Diseases campaign is another unique example of this.”