December 11, 2015
PERRY, NY – The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and the HEADstrong Foundation are proud to announce an historic partnership aimed at raising cancer awareness and funds for improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. The effort will focus around an annual USILA/HEADstrong Cancer Awareness Week. This spring, the landmark initiative will take place April 15 – 23, 2016, in which collegiate men’s lacrosse teams nationwide will be asked to make a statement on the playing field by pledging a game, raising funds and wearing HEADstrong awareness accessories in support of the cause.
“We are humbled and honored to announce this historic partnership with the USILA, helping to bring awareness and funds to those who need it most,” says HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori, mother of HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori, who created the vision of the foundation while battling cancer. “Our hope is to empower student-athletes, college teams throughout the country, and ignite the philanthropic spirit that makes this game so special. On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation and those we proudly serve we wish to sincerely thank the USILA for always remembering our Nick, embracing all that he believed, their unparalleled commitment to supporting his vision and for solidifying and engraining our cause into the college game through the creation of the USILA/HEADstrong Cancer Awareness Week.”
“The lacrosse community is tight knit and our member institutions and student-athletes regularly engage in important philanthropic work,” says USILA President and Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. “Given the history of the HEADstrong Foundation and its close tie to the game of lacrosse, it’s a natural relationship to combine the great spirit of community engagement of the USILA institutions and the incredible work of HEADstrong, one of the most impactful foundations in the country.”
All men’s lacrosse games at the NCAA Division I, II, and III level during this week will have an opportunity to pledge a game as a USILA/HEADstrong event to support this important cause in a manner they see fit. With the recent release of the 2016 collegiate men’s lacrosse schedule, teams can now begin designating and pledging their games at https://headstrong.org/campaigns/.
In 2005, Nicholas Colleluori, a lacrosse played at Hofstra University with his younger brother Michael, was diagnosed with large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Shortly after being diagnosed, Nicholas recognized a lack of resources for cancer patients and their families. Experiencing firsthand the hardships, from his hospital bed he created the HEADstrong Foundation to raise awareness and funds for cancer by empowering athletes to support his mission. He drew the organization’s logo moments before entering the operating room for a procedure, and outlined its mission and future plans. Nicholas lost his valiant battle on November 28th, 2006 but his legacy of toughness and determination lives on in the HEADstrong Foundation. Since 2007, HEADstrong has raised more than $8.1 million supporting more than 12,000 patients and their families. For more on HEADstrong visit www.HEADstrong.org.
Founded in 1885, USILA provides awards and officiating services to every NCAA Division I, II, and III men’s lacrosse program in the country. The association is entrusted to enhance and develop intercollegiate lacrosse by providing leadership, management, and services to its membership so that student-athletes, coaches, institutions, and other constituent groups will realize the maximum benefit from the sport of lacrosse. The organization just launched a completely re-designed and interactive website, USILA.org and announced major partnerships with Nike and Lids Team Sports.