The Illini will hold a strongman competition and sign autographs after the event. (photo by Craig Pessman)
June 12, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois football team will host the second annual Lift for Life on Friday, June 21 under the lights at Memorial Stadium. Uplifting Athletes, a registered student organization (RSO), is using the event to raise money for acoustic neuroma, a rare disease that ended the career of former Fighting Illini offensive lineman Andrew Carter.
The squad will split up into six teams and compete in an eight-event strongman competition in Memorial Stadium from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 21. An autograph session will take place at the conclusion of the strongman competition. The event is open to the public and will cost $5 for adults, with all proceeds going to the Acoustic Neuroma Association of America. Children 12 and under will get in free.
In addition to the admission charge, donations will be accepted at the event, can be made online, or by sending a check to: Uplifting Athletes, 112 Market Street Suite 301, Harrisburg, PA 17101. One hundred percent of the donations will be given to the Acoustic Neuroma Association of America.
"The football team is looking forward to our 2nd annual Lift for Life event," said Corey Lewis, senior offensive lineman and Illinois' Uplifting Athletes president. "We're inviting Illini Nation and the Champaign-Urbana community to come out for a night of fun that will generate revenue and awareness for Acoustic Neuroma Association of America. It's a rare opportunity to get up close and see the players compete in a unique strongman competition, as well as get autographs and photos."
Uplifting Athletes is a network of university chapters run by current football student-athletes. Each chapter adopts a rare disease that has personal meaning to their team. These rare diseases affect fewer than 200,000 Americans; and consequently, little attention is paid to them. Football players hold special events, fundraising campaigns or awareness drives to attract fans and media, making their rare disease more popular and generating new money for research.
Illinois has chosen to benefit acoustic neuroma, which is a rare, slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. This nerve is called the vestibular cochlear nerve. It is behind the ear right under the brain. An acoustic neuroma is not cancerous, which means it does not spread to other parts of the body; however, it can damage several important nerves as it grows.