John Jiloty March 27th, 2011
Forgive Cheryl and Pat Collelouri if they’re not quite sure how to judge the inaugural HEADStrong LimeLight Gala, which went off Friday in Philadelphia.
It was the first time the family and the HEADStrong Foundation has put together such an event, which drew about 300 people to the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing. It was also the first time they’ve been to something like that, so when asked how he thought the gala turned out toward the end of the evening, Mr. Collelouri wasn’t sure how to respond.
“I don’t know. I’ve never been to a gala before,” he told an attendee. “But I like this.”
Well, in the name of Nick Colleluori, who passed away in 2006 after a year-long battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the LimeLight Gala raised roughly $150,000 for blood cancer research its first time around, so it’s safe to say that it was a resounding success.
NBC10 Sports Anchor John Clark and WMMR Radio personality Casey Fosbenner emceed the event, but Joseph A. Clifford III (pictured, right) really delivered the message on Friday. He was given a chance of survival well below 50%, but he said death wasn’t what worried him when he was given the news that he had cancer. It was the reality that his young son would grow up not knowing his father.
He went on to talk about his daughter feigning a limp because she was just trying to get the attention of her father, who was stuck in a hospital fighting through chemotherapy. It was one of the more heart-wrenching speeches I’ve heard. But the important thing is he beat it. Joe his wife is expecting twins this year.