Eric Shrive set a big goal last year and surpassed it in a big way.
Penn State's Eric Shrive has raised more than $33,000 for Lift For Life the past two years.
The Penn State offensive lineman has even bigger ideas for this year's Lift For Life fundraiser, set for July 13.
A year after exceeding his individual fundraising total of $15,000 by more than $10,000, Shrive hopes to raise $25,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association through Penn State's Uplifting Athletes Chapter.
"My plan is to get everybody I had last year," Shrive said Wednesday. "Get the word out on what we're doing and why we're doing it."
That's no small feat. Shrive has an Excel spreadsheet containing the names of nearly 200 people -- family, friends, residents of his hometown of Scranton -- who made donations in past years. He said many people assume he raised nearly $26,000 last year (and more than $8,500 in 2010) on the strength of a few huge donations, but he tries to reach out to those who are willing to donate $10 as much as those who gave more than $1,000.
"I don't feel like just asking somebody for their money," he said. "I want their support."
Former Penn State wide receiver Scott Shirley, who helped create the first Lift For Life weightlifting challenge nine years ago and is the founder and executive director of Uplifting Athletes, has helped launch chapters of the nonprofit organization at 13 universities nationwide, including four in the past year. Each works year-round to raise money to battle a rare disease of their choice.
Penn State, which has raised more than $600,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association since 2003, remains the flagship chapter.
"What Scott has started here is something that's going to go on for years and go on around the country," Shrive said. "People have taken light on what good we can do as student athletes. … We just keep setting the bar higher for ourselves. I think it's something great, and it's good for your school's image. I don't see why every school in the country doesn't want to be involved with it."
Shrive, the chapter's vice president, Shirley and offensive lineman Mike Farrell, the chapter president, sat down with head coach Bill O'Brien this spring to discuss the team's involvement in Uplifting Athletes.
"Coach O'Brien is all about community service," Shrive said. "One of the focal points of his is about giving back."
All of the Nittany Lions are eligible to raise money for Lift For Life, but Shrive and Farrell have been trying to get more of the younger players on the team involved in the leadership roles.
"Eventually, we're going to be done," Shrive said.
Those wishing to donate to a specific player or the chapter can do so online at http://www.upliftingathletes.org/ua-chapter/ua-event/psu-lift-life or contact Deloris Brobeck at 814-865-1946.