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July 13, 2012Temperatures and spirits are high for the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes' 10th Annual Lift for Life event, held from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the new lacrosse stadium on Penn State's campus.
For the first time in the event's history, teams will be broken down by offense and defense, with an entirely new format that even the Nittany Lion players are still in the dark over. A season of change all around the Penn State program, players are excited for this year's new format.
"I think it will be a lot of fun," the chapter's president, fifth-year senior Mike Farrell said. "It's getting exciting. Coach Fitz is really focused on getting the team excited to do this because one, you get a great workout and two, it's for a good cause.
"Just because of the change it's exciting, and we enjoyed the last one, but it had been pretty much the same for the first nine years and the first four times that I did it while I was here, it was the same thing. Not knowing what's going to take place, they've been a little secretive with exactly everything that's going to take place in the events. So, all of those things combined have really made it something to look forward to and something to get a little excited for."
According to a press release distributed last week, events this year will include the tire flip, a longtime tradition of Lift for Life, but new events too, including tug of war, an obstacle course, and a variety of other events.
While Farrell acknowledged the grueling difficult of the events in years past, even without knowing exactly what's on the table for Friday afternoon's event, he said he's ready for something equally as challenging.
"Those (past events) were certainly difficult and this, I think for sure, will have some elements from those," Farrell said. "It will also have a similar feel to (winter workouts) having the whole team being out there on one field together. It will be tough and that's something that, because we'll all be out there together and split up and not individualized, I think we'll feed off that and it will make it more fun."
Having benefited from winter workouts and spring practice under the direction of new strength coach Craig Fitzgerald, Farrell indicated that fans who are going to attend will be able to see some of the dividends earned this off-season for the entire Penn State team.
A small donation is recommended for all attendees, with proceeds going to the Kidney Cancer Association, as always.
"In some of the events, I think they will, but it's to be determined what some of the other events are. So, it could be more events that they unveil for us that will show that as well," he said. "But, even just seeing the team out there, seeing us in person, seeing us move around... guys up here are used to getting comments from our coaches and the other coaches on the staff, saying about the strides that have been made being in this program so far."
Having raised just over $100,000 last year by the next few days following the event, Farrell and the Nittany Lions are hoping to eclipse that mark on Friday.
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Parking will be available at in the Bryce Jordan Center parking lot, with signs clearly indicating the routes into the new lacrosse stadium, which is adjacent to the Multi-Sport Facility, just off University Drive and Dauer Road.
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