Penn State Uplifting Athletes plan for November touchdown drive

October 31, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes is looking to turn touchdowns into rare disease research dollars during the month of November.

In order to support the Nittany Lions’ chosen rare disease, kidney cancer, the Penn State chapter is holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive for all five games in November.

For the home games at Beaver Stadium against Maryland (Nov. 1), Temple (Nov. 15) and Michigan State (Nov. 29), plus road games at Indiana (Nov. 8) and Illinois (Nov. 22), each touchdown the Nittany Lions score in the five games will support kidney cancer research.

“This program helps the chapter evolve into a year-round operation because it’s so difficult for them during the season to do much,” said Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Scott Shirley, a former Penn State football student-athlete. “But, that’s when they are most visible. This is a great tool for them to take advantage of that, and it doesn’t require a lot of their time.”

The Penn State Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive is sponsored by AAA, and AAA of Southern Pennsylvania has agreed to donate $500 for each touchdown the Nittany Lions score during November.

Penn State alumni, students and fans can support the football student-athlete led Penn State chapter by making a donation through the Nittany Lions’ online Touchdown Pledge Drive site at

The Penn State Chapter was founded in 2003 when Shirley’s father, Don, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. His teammates rallied around the rare disease fight and put on the first Penn State Lift For Life event, which has become an annual summer event that attracts several thousand fans every summer.

Penn State is the original Uplifting Athletes Chapter, and is the largest private donor to the Kidney Cancer Association. With its record 2013-14 fundraising total of $151,990 the Penn State Chapter has raised more than $1 million since 2003 for kidney cancer patients and research.

The funds raised from the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes has helped bring seven new kidney cancer treatments to market in the last 12 years.

Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through outreach, research, education and advocacy.

Each of the 25 student-athlete led chapters nationwide raises research funds and brings awareness to their chosen rare disease through a Lift For Life fundraiser.

For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 31, 2014