Here’s a sobering fact for you: Rare diseases affect nearly 30 million Americans, but because they’re so uncommon, the financial support and awareness needed to discover new treatments for them is often lacking.

All that changed nine years ago with the creation of the first Uplifting Athletes chapter on the campus of Penn State University. Uplifting Athletes works with college football players to raise money and awareness for rare disease research. Today, that mission includes chapters on 13 college campuses.

Pavone has happily donated its services to Uplifting Athletes, starting with a capital campaign brochure and video in 2011, and again this year in support of the organization’s inaugural Gridiron Gala fundraiser. Efforts supporting the gala include the development of online advertising, the design of an event logo and brochure, and paid media planning to help spread the word.

The event occurred on April 20 – on the eve of Penn State’s annual Blue-White game – the Gridiron Gala featured an evening of gourmet tailgating, live music, games, activities, and a chance to meet and mingle with several former college football stars. The gala was held in Harrisburg at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

The event was a success, and planning is already underway for next year. If you’re a fan of football, good food and supporting worthy causes, we definitely recommend attending in the future. Until then, visit UpliftingAthletes.org to see how you can support the cause, too.