HEADstrong_NRSMinneapolis, MN – This spring, boys and girls high school lacrosse teams from across the country are joining the HEADstrong Foundation’s relentless fight against blood cancers by facing-off against rival opponents as part of the organizations National Rivalry Series.

In addition, 24 rival Minnesota high schools have united to be part of the 1st Annual Minnesota Burn Cancer Games, a charitable event series beginning on April 23rd and concluding on May 20th.

The Minnesota Burn Cancer Games were inspired by two friends’ and rival coaches, Pat Donaghy, (Cretin-Derham Hall) and Frank Clark, (The Blake School), who believe in the importance of brining heighted awareness to the cause and further meaning to their seasons.

“In the fall, a few football progams in Minnesota host a “Beat Cancer” game in which the schools raise funds and awareness for different cancer organizations. I knew I wanted to do something similar for lacrosse, so Frank Clark and I came up with the idea that our schools, both boys and girls, can compete in an event and we would wear HF awareness apparel. The girls teams agreed upon the event as well and we will be playing April 26th. From that, we invited other schools to participate and the response from the community has been incredible” said Pat Donaghy, MN Burn Cancer Games Organizer.

In addition to spearheading the MN Burn Cancer Games, Donaghy also leads the HEADstrong Lacrosse Club of Minnesota, a team that is spreading blood cancer awareness across the country.

The Burn Cancer Games have received overwhelming support with over 30% of Minnesota’s high school lacrosse teams observing a HF Awareness Game. Over 700 athletes will be involved with raising funds and promoting blood cancer awareness on the playing field this season by wearing HF’s signature crew socks.

1st Annual Minnesota Burn Cancer Games Schedule

Tartan vs North St. Paul, April 23rd
Eden Prairie vs Minnetonka, April 24th
Cretin-Derham Hall vs Blake (Boys and Girls), April 26th
Woodbury vs East Ridge, April 28th
Jefferson vs Eagan, April 29th
Rosemount vs Prior Lake, May 1
Providence vs Monticello, May 1st
Maple Grove vs Osseo Park Center, May 2nd
Chaska vs Chanhassen, May 8th
Delano vs Orono, May 15
Lakeville North vs Lakeville South, May 20

“Minnesota is one of the fastest growing states when it comes to lacrosse participation. There are so many dedicated players, parents and coaches here that just love the sport and want to see it grow. It is really special to see how the community has rallied around the cause and it shows the passion that Minnesota has for the sport, as well doing something for the greater good.” Pat Donaghy

“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation, the Colleluori family and those affected by blood cancers we wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Minnesota high school lacrosse community who have united to take part in the 1st Annual Minnesota Burn Cancer Games. We are very humbled and so pleased see over 30% of the high school programs participating and over 700 athletes supporting our cause through these games. As a non-profit organization on the frontlines of the disease we are committed to assuring cancer patients that they are not alone in their fight and we could not think of a more appropriate and inspiring statement than 24 schools taking the field to say to those in the fight, “Minnesota has your back!” To the players, coaches, officials, families, spectators and organizers we applaud your relentlessness and welcome you all to the HEADstrong family.” Cheryl Colleluori, HF President and Nick’s Mom

Click here for more information on the 1st Annual Minnesota Burn Cancer Games or go to www.HEADstrong.org to learn how you can support the cause this season.

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