Sean Clifford

Blue team quarterback Sean Clifford throws a pass during the Blue-White game Saturday, April 13, 2019, in State College.

Penn State football players will take the field together for their season opener against Idaho on Aug. 31. However, on Friday the Nittany Lion offense will be pitted against the defense in a different type of competition.

Friday marks Penn State’s 17th annual Lift for Life, where an estimated 80 Nittany Lion football players will meet in Holuba Hall and compete in various weight-training and exercise competitions to raise funds and awareness for rare diseases.

Lift for Life begins at 5 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 4:30. While the event is free to attend, adults are encouraged to donate $10 and children $5. Proceeds will be donated to research and fight rare diseases.

“It has been a privilege to be a small part of such a big impact in many families’ lives,” Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes president and Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford said in a statement. “Penn State is driven to help the rare disease community because we know how important this cause is, and we see the significance in the bigger picture.”

A kids’ clinic will also be offered from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at a cost of $15 per child. Participants will be given a Lift for Life T-shirt. An autograph session will follow the event.

Parking will be available in the commuter lots east and north of the Bryce Jordan Central at a cost of $5. Additional parking will be offered at the Hub and East parking decks.

Penn State alumnus and former walk-on wide receiver Scott Shirley organized the inaugural Lift for Life in 2003. Uplifting Athletes was created as a non-profit in 2007, and the organization now has chapters at 31 universities.

Since 2003, the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes has raised $1,386,780 in its fight against rare diseases. This year’s event has already generated $30,524 in donations. Nationwide, Lift for Life this year has raised $98,885 across its 31 chapters.

“Lift for Life and Uplifting Athletes is a very important part of the Penn State football experience,” Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes vice president and Nittany Lions long snapper Chris Stoll said. “Our program is proud to be inspiring the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport and giving back to help others.”

To donate, visit