Together we are stronger

The Lift for Life logo was created by students and staff at the high school.

by MASH

The Lift for Life logo was created by students and staff at the high school.

Erin Harris, Sports Editor

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Starting in 2007, Scott Shirley, former Penn State Football player, launched a nonprofit organization called Uplifting Athletes. Uplifting Athletes was built around the idea of helping spread awareness of rare diseases that overtake millions of people’s lives nationwide. 

Scott got the idea for Uplifting Athletes when his father, Don Shirley, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2002. 

Over the past 12 years, Uplifting Athletes has branched out in several ways in order to raise more money to go towards cancer research. These fundraisers include Lift for Life, Touchdown Pledge Drive, UA Ambassadors, and Team UA. 

Lift for Life is the main fundraising opportunity that originally took off up at Penn State University with the Penn State Football Team. Since then, 30 other collegiate football teams have joined the cause and set up Lift for Life every year. 

Here at Mechanicsburg, Uplifting Athletes hits home.

For 34 years, Mechanicsburg had the pleasure of having Don Shirley as the head baseball coach. To give back to what Don has done for this community, Mechanicsburg hosts its own version of Lift for Life every November. 

Using the gym and weight room, a series of challenging and limit-testing activities are set up.

In groups of four, adults and students go through the 10 activities, including fireman’s carry, tire flip, and jump roping, and push themselves for the cause. 

Though testing out your physical ability can be fun and competitive, it’s the bigger picture that counts.

Every person who partakes in Lift for Life must donate at least 30 dollars that’ll go towards Uplifting Athletes. 

At Mechanicsburg, current baseball, football, and girl’s basketball coach, Clay McAllister, is in charge of Lift for Life and works hard to make sure all of the participants understand the meaning of the event. 

Principal Dave Harris mentions, “One of the best things about Lift for Life is seeing a diverse mix of students across ninth through twelfth grade, athletes, non-athletes, school board members, and staff, participating and volunteering.” 

This event not only helps Uplifting Athletes and those dealing with rare diseases, but it also brings the Mechanicsburg community closer together. 

To show this, students and staff at MASH have made Lift for Life shirts that say “Together we are stronger”. 

Adviser, Clay McAllister, mentions, “Tradition and doing good things for other people are the foundation for this event every year. Mr. Shirley’s is really important to maintain. He stood for doing the right thing and teaching his students and athletes to do the same. I have no doubt that he would be very proud of the MASH community for raising money in his honor to find cures for people suffering from rare diseases.”

Come join the cause on Saturday, November 16th in the high school gym.