Weekly Update: Strong start to Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 with five teams posting victories


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Thank you to Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Saint Francis, Syracuse and NC State student-athlete chapter leaders and fans of those programs for supporting the opening week of Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017.

Five of those schools, Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Syracuse and NC State, posted Week 3 victories. Only Saint Francis suffered a setback, and that was a narrow 16-14 loss to a strong Towson squad.

The six Week 1 Touchdown Pledge Drive schools combined to score 32 touchdowns with Penn State, Northwestern and NC State all posting seven or more.

Syracuse rebounded from a stinging upset at home last week by overpowering a previously 2-0 Central Michigan squad by 24 points.

Orange QB Eric Dungey rolled up 384 total yards (279 passing, 105 rushing) and three touchdowns. Syracuse led 24-17 at halftime, then outscored the Chippewas 17-0 in the third quarter to pull away.

The initial two weeks of the season had been a struggle for a Northwestern team with high expectations in the Big Ten West. The Wildcats rebounded with a solid offensive performance to overwhelm Bowling Green.

QB Clayton Thorson, RB Justin Jackson and WR Garrett Dickerson all had big games for an offense that pumped out nearly 700 total yards.

Penn State moved back to No. 4 overall in the country after the Nittany Lions used huge games from Heisman Trophy candidates, RB Saquon Barkley and QB Trace McSorley, to steam roll Georgia State. The duo combined for 522 total yards and six touchdowns.

McSorley threw for 309 yards with four touchdowns and ran for another score to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance Award for Week 3.

For all its offense, the Nittany Lions defense has shown some teeth in their first 12 quarters by allowing only one touchdown and pitching a pair of shutouts.

Meet Northwestern University Chapter President and Wildcats starting guard Tommy Doles in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

NC State piled up more than 550 yards of offense against Furman and scored all seven of its touchdowns by the end of third quarter to move the Wolfpack to 2-1 overall.

Wide receiver Stephen Carlson hauled in three touchdown passes from Chad Kanoff to spark Princeton to a solid victory over visiting San Diego to open the Tigers’ 2017 season. The defending Ivy League co-champions threw for more than 350 yards and the defense forced three key turnovers.

Quarterback Joe Carbone tossed three touchdown passes and Stony Brook grinded out nearly 300 yards on the ground in completely dominating Sacred Heart. Three Seawolves, Stacey Bedell, Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine, each had 65 or more yards on the ground.

UPenn won its wild ’17 season opener at Franklin Field behind 35 second-half points to subdue winless Ohio Dominican. RB Karekin Brooks totaled 142 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns to spark the Quakers.

The Clemson defense once again announced its presence with authority as the defending National Champions limited ACC foe Louisville to a single touchdown through three quarters to grab a 33-7 lead. New Tigers QB Kelly Bryant threw for 316 yards with one score and added 26 yards on the ground with a pair of end zone trips. WR Ray-Ray McCloud had seven grabs for 115 yards and a TD.

Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush and RB Josh Adams combined to run over Boston College at Chestnut Hill. The Fighting Irish duo teamed up for 436 yards on 39 carries with Wimbish scoring four times.

 

 

 

Princeton Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive coming up Saturday against San Diego


Princeton TDPD 2017The Princeton Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, led by President Kurt Holuba, is counting on the Tigers offense to put a few touchdowns on the board Saturday, September 16 for its 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive when Princeton welcomes San Diego to New Jersey.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

The leadership team of the student-athlete led Princeton Chapter and all the members of the 2017 Tigers squad is asking fans to support their efforts to support the rare disease community by making a pledge through the Princeton Chapter online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Fans can simply make a pledge for each touchdown the Tigers score that day and they can follow along to see the impact they are helping the players make.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Princeton Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

The Princeton Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2011 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Princeton Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of Jordan Culbreath, a former Tigers running back.

Culbreath was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and battled through his rare disease diagnosis to return to the field and finish his playing career. His inspiring story of hope not only led his Princeton teammates to form a chapter, Culbreath was also honored as the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.

Support the Princeton Chapter and its efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by signing up for its Touchdown Pledge Drive today!

Seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders up for off-the-field awards in 2017


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Uplifting Athletes is proud to have seven college football student-athlete chapter leaders nominated for national off-the-field awards this year.

Five players are nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team and four are on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy.

Syracuse quarterback Zach Mahoney and kicker Adam Greene of Maryland made the grade on both lists.

Joining those two as nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team are center Nick Allegretti from Illinois, defensive lineman Kurt Holuba from Princeton and Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber.

Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

Uplifting Athletes has placed at least one player on the AFCA Good Works Team every year since 2012.

Joining Mahoney and Greene on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list are Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and Florida State center Alec Eberle.

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.  Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Congratulations to these seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders for making the rare disease cause a priority and using the power of sport for social good.

 

 

It’s Touchdown Pledge Drive Season again!


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For the fourth consecutive year, our chapters will shine a spotlight on rare diseases by holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive (TDPD) game.

This year, the entire nationwide chapter network will play their TDPD game during the month of September.

The Touchdown Pledge Drive game is an excellent chance for each chapter to expose the rare disease cause to their college football fan base and bring another level of awareness and support to the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

Please visit the Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive hub and choose your favorite team to support. Simply make a pledge towards the number of touchdowns your team scores that day and follow along to see the impact you are helping the players make.

Every dollar helps Uplifting Athletes and its chapter network tackle rare diseases.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to leadership development, patient focused programs, rare disease awareness and rare disease research.

 

Four FCS Chapters kick off 2017 Lift For Life season with spring events


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Uplifting Athletes kicked off its 2017 Lift For Life season with four FCS Chapters, Penn, Princeton, Saint Francis and Stony Brook, holding events this spring.

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of college football student-athlete led chapters to support the mission of inspiring the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

While all chapters in the Uplifting Athletes network hold a Lift For Life, each event has its own individual stamp.

At Penn, the Lift For Life is part of the annual Iron Quaker event to close out the winter lifting program. The Penn Chapter used this max-out day to create a competition between the offense, defense and special teams.

For the first time ever, the Princeton Chapter event was open to the public. The Tigers held their competitive Lift For Life outside the Frist Campus Center and also used a max-out day to add some competition spice to the event. Princeton used the offense vs. defense model and it came down to the final event, tire flip, to decide the winner.

Saint Francis used its annual Lift For Life as the cornerstone of their event, but the Red Flash added a “Community Day” element for 2017. The Saint Francis Chapter added a 5K run for runners of all ages and a punt, pass and kick for kids. The day was capped off by the annual Lift For Life.

To finish off the FCS Chapter run this spring, Stony Brook was forced inside for the second year in a row. Torrential rain prevented the Seawolves from holding their event in LaValle Stadium, but the competitive nature and spirit of their Lift For Life more than made up for the venue change. The Stony Brook Chapter split into four teams this year, and it was the Blue Team edging the Red Team by three points to claim victory.

The four events combined to raise nearly $25,000 for Uplifting Athletes in support of its commitment to life skills development, patient focused programs and rare disease research.

Thank you to all those that supported the Penn, Princeton, Saint Francis and Stony Brook Lift For Life events in 2017. The summer events schedule for our FBS Chapters is building.

 

Princeton Chapter annual Lift For Life event set for April 27th and is open to the public


PRINCETON LFL 17 GRAPHICThe Princeton Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the rare disease community on April 27 at 4:45 p.m. outside the Frist Campus Center.

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes.

Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

The 2017 Princeton Chapter Lift For Life is a competition that will pit the offense vs. the defense head-to-head on max bench press repetitions.

Fans can pledge based on the total number of bench press repetitions either the Team Offense or Team Defense averages. So choose your favorite side of the ball and pledge to support the Princeton Chapter in its quest to tackle rare diseases by visiting the Tigers fundraising site.

Proceeds from the Princeton Chapter annual Lift For Life supports Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to life skills development, patient focused programs and rare disease research.

Today, the challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The Stony Brook Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

The Princeton Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2011 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Princeton Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of Jordan Culbreath, a former Tigers running back.

Culbreath was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and battled through his rare disease diagnosis to return to the field and finish his playing career. His inspiring story of hope not only led his Princeton teammates to form a chapter, Culbreath was also honored as the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.

Please support the Princeton Chapter and help the Tigers reach their $15,000 team Lift For Life goal.

 

Taking a look back at 2016 for Uplifting Athletes


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In a year of change on many fronts for Uplifting Athletes, taking time to reflect is time well spent.

Our purpose as a national nonprofit remains unaffected. We serve the 30 million Americans that comprise the rare disease community. But our scope and mission underwent a natural evolution to kick off the year.

We expanded our scope of support to the larger rare disease community as a whole and settled on five categories of rare disease groups, rare cancers, rare blood disorders, rare genetic disorders, rare autoimmune disorders and rare muscular disorders.

Our mission has remained the same since 2007, but we overhauled the words to more adequately reflect where we want to go in the future. Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization that inspires the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

In February we crowned our eighth Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion. And we celebrated USC long snapper Jake Olson and his amazing rare disease story at the annual Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala in March.

Our annual Gridiron Gala was also in March, and for the first time we put the focus of our annual fundraising event squarely on rare disease patients and their families. It was a celebration of battling, and in some cases overcoming, the challenges of a rare disease journey.

In May we welcomed a record 30-plus leaders in college football to Northwestern University for our annual Chapter Leadership Conference. The weekend painted a promising picture for the future of our nationwide network of student-athlete led chapters.

Over the course of the late spring and into the summer, 19 chapters ran a Lift For Life event. This is the signature fundraising and rare disease awareness event, but trust us when we say no two events are the same.

Penn used its annual Iron Quaker lifting competition to hold its Lift For Life, Notre Dame holds a bowling event to engage the community, at Arizona it’s a kids clinic and Nebraska holds an annual 5K/Fun Run as its signature event.

Clemson, Georgia Tech, Washington and Northern Arizona each held their inaugural Lift For Life events in 2016. And the charter chapter of Uplifting Athletes, Penn State, held its 14th annual Lift For Life.

The funds that are raised from these annual Lift For Life events supports rare disease research and patient focused programs. And this fall, Uplifting Athletes allotted research funds to support translational research being done at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Fox Chase in Philadelphia and Penn.

August was a month of more transition for the organization. Former Chapter Manager Becky Mayes left after nearly four years with Uplifting Athletes and Director of Marketing Mark Mihalik took a similar position with PledgeIt.

Those departures provided Uplifting Athletes the opportunity to hire Rob Long as the Director of Strategic Development and Chapter Liaison. Long is the inspiration behind Syracuse forming a chapter, a former rare disease patient who overcame his rare brain cancer and played college football.

In addition, John Trzeciak was looking for passion and purpose in his journey and as a long-time resident of State College and a Penn State alumnus and fan, he knew about Uplifting Athletes. Trzeciak is a full-time volunteer and mentor with a wealth of knowledge and skills that will help Uplifting Athletes maximize its resources in the future.

At the peak of their football season, 11 members of the Uplifting Athletes Chapter network donated their time and hard work to run Touchdown Pledge Drives.

In its third year of existence, Arizona, Clemson, Colgate, Florida State, Maryland, Penn State, Penn, Princeton, St. Francis, Stony Brook and Syracuse hosted Touchdown Pledge Drive games.

Penn, who shared the Ivy League title with Princeton, ran a campaign that included all of its Ivy games and included the offense, defense and kicking game. Colgate and Princeton each ran offense vs. defense drives. The remaining eight chapters ran a pledge drive based solely on touchdowns.

We are grateful for all the blessings of this past year that allowed us to serve the rare disease community. We are excited for 2017.

Together … We Are … Stronger!