HEADstrong’s Fall Four™ Events Raise Over $200,000 To Support The Cause
Holmes, PA – On Saturday, October 19th, the HEADstrong Foundation™ concluded its 2013 fall collegiate event schedule with the 1st Annual University City Classic (UCC). Supporting the organization’s fight against blood cancers, the Inaugural UCC was one of HEADstrong’s Fall Four™ events which also included the 7th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic™, 5th Annual Women’s Nicholas Colleluori Classic™, and the 1st Annual Face-Off To Fight Blood Cancer™. Collectively, the four events raised over $200,000 to support the HEADstrong Foundation’s mission.
HEADstrong’s Fall fundraising season kicked-off on September 28th with the 5th Annual Women’s Nicholas Colleluori Classic™ at Hofstra University, where Colleluori played collegiately. The event featured 11 women’s teams facing-off for the cause. The highlight of the event was the heroic return of Catholic University’s #8, Tori Neill. Neill, a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and thyroid cancer, took the field for the first time since her treatment and was honored by HEADstrong at the event. The event helped to raise over $40,000, contributing to over $200,000 since its inception in 2008.
The 7th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic™ (NCC) took place over the weekend of October 5th-6th and was held at Colleluori’s alma mater, Ridley High School, in Folsom, PA. An unseasonably warm forecast set the tone for an amazing event featuring 21 collegiate teams competing on the fields. The games, the festival-like atmosphere, and the cause gathered thousands of supporters. This milestone event has helped to raise over $1,250,000 since its inception, allowing the HEADstrong Foundation to strengthen its commitment to improving the quality of life for those affected by blood cancers.
Over the same weekend as the 7th Annual NCC, the HEADstrong Lacrosse Club of Minnesota and The Blake School presented the Face-Off to Fight Blood Cancer™. The event featured 14 of the top boy’s high school programs in the state and surrounding area as well as three girl’s high school teams. The event was highlighted by a collegiate game in which the Minnesota Gophers squared-off against the Minnesota Lakers, a prominent men’s club team from the area. A player from each team was selected for quality leadership and sportsmanship both on and off the field and was presented with a lime green Warrior Relentless27 chinstrap during a ceremony held at the conclusion of the event.
HEADstrong’s collegiate fundraising event series concluded with the inaugural University City Classic™. In its first year the event helped raise over $20,000 to support the Nicholas E. Colleluori Lymphoma Research Fund at the Abramson Cancer Center. The event was held on Saturday, October 19th which would have been HEADstrong Founder Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori’s 28th birthday and was played in the shadows of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he fought his heroic battle against non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The UCC™ was a day of philanthropy, pairing the elements of a fall collegiate scrimmage with a day of service. HEADstrong provided complimentary admission to patients and families receiving care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After the event, HEADstrong served dinner to the patients, families and staff at the hospital.
The funds raised this fall by HEADstrong Foundation™ will be instrumental in supporting their service portfolio. The non-profit organization works to provide essential services and programs to improve the quality of life for patients and families affected by blood cancers. HEADstrong distributes financial assistance on a national level through the Nicholas E. Colleluori Grant program, provides complimentary long-term housing to patients and families through Nick’s House™, provides patients with quality of life services such as HEADtable™ and HEAD2head™, is building an educational platform for newly diagnosed patients, and supports innovative blood cancer research through the Nicholas E. Colleluori Lymphoma Research Fund.
There are many things that contribute to the overall success of HEADstrong events, expanding beyond the fundraising component. The events are organized and facilitated by members of the Colleluori family and their many devoted volunteers and supporters. The organization works diligently to provide an incredible experience while sharing a piece of themselves with spectators. Additionally, all of the participating schools support the cause by fundraising on their respected campuses to give the players vested interest in the cause. Each team is assigned an honorary captain who has been directly affected by the disease. Furthermore, members of the Colleluori family give a heartfelt recognition to through the presentation of the Nick Colleluori Award to players from each team who are transforming the landscape of their program. Combined, the organization has found this personalized approach to be a receipt for successful fall fundraising.
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation™, the Colleluori family and our founder, Nicholas, we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the teams, supporters and volunteers who were part of all of our fundraising events this fall. This fall was really special, as we had the most participation from teams in the history of our organization. The reality is that rates of occurrence and reoccurrence of blood cancers are peaking at an all-time high and the demand for our services has never been greater. As a non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life for patients and families impacted by blood cancers, we are always looking for ways to engage supporters, increase awareness, and raise funds to support our mission. We look forward to partnering with teams and presenting more athletic events so that we can continue to make an impact and further our presence in the cancer community.” -Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom