It was prior to the Wildcats' 2010 game with Michigan State in which former Northwestern coach Ara Parseghian met with the team and made an impact on each player. They wanted to give back.
Northwestern's Uplifting Athletes chapter will dedicate its second annual Lift For Life event to raising money for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which battles Niemann-Pick Type C (NP-C) disease.
Three of Parseghian's grandchildren are affected by the disease. The Wildcats want to help fight it.
"It's a great way to give back to fighting a disease that is directly related to our program, Coach Parseghian" said Northwestern senior defensive tackle Brian Arnfelt, the chapter president. "It would be a great opportunity to go give back to one of our leaders, someone who gave us so much."
The event is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, July 27, held on the FieldTurf practice field, located northeast of Ryan Field. Entrance to the event is free, but fans are being encouraged to make donations toward the Parseghian Foundation.
Arnfelt and Northwestern teammates Quentin Williams, Chuck Porcelli, and Doug Diedrick are in charge of the event, working hard for many months to make the event a success.
"It has been a lot of work, but I don't look at it like that," said Arnfelt. "This has been an extraordinary opportunity to give back."
The rest of the Wildcats will take part in the event. At the conclusion, players and NU coaches will be available to meet with fans.
"It's going to be good, we're doing the same thing as last year; competitions, some drills, much like our workouts," Arnfelt said. "It will be some good competition there. We want the public and community to come out. It's a great opportunity to see what we're doing as we work to win a Big Ten championship this year."
Northwestern is one of five Big Ten programs which has a Uplifting Athletes chapter. Nebraska was the most recent school to join the organization. Uplifting Athletes aims to raise money to find cures for rare diseases, partnering with college football athletes.
Al Netter and Jacob Schmidt helped Northwestern form its Uplifting Athletes chapter. Arnfelt hopes it continues to be a success moving forward.
"They were really great last year in setting it up and getting the ball rolling," said Arnfelt. "Our goal is to keep moving forward the Lift For Life and fundraising opportunity."
The Wildcats are excited for Friday's festivities, but hope their fans come out to support the great cause.
"We thought that (Lift For Life ) is a really great way to give back to someone who gave so much to our program, especially because it is such a rare disease," said Arnfelt. "It's a really great way to give back."
If you would like to donate to Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, follow this link