The HEADstrong Foundation is proud to present the eighth annual Lime Light Gala on Friday, March 9 at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. Held annually to recognize groundbreaking achievements and stories of hope while remembering those who have lost their fight, the Gala strives to help families affected by cancer. Click here to purchase tickets or to help sponsor the event.
Five months ago, Evie Clair was the 13-year-old who stole hearts and inspired the nation with her singing on America’s Got Talent in honor of her father, Amos Ablanalp, who was battling colon cancer. Ablanalp lost his fight one day after Clair found out she’d be moving on to the show’s final round. Given the opportunity to come back the following season, she opted to perform, and her rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” captivated the hearts of viewers across the country.
Since then, Clair and her wonderful voice have been in high demand for performances at events, so much so that she’s not able to accommodate all of the requests that come her way. When she was asked to sing at the HEADstrong Foundation’s Lime Light Gala on Friday, March 9 at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, though, she felt like it was an opportunity that hit close to home.
“This is really a cool event in particular, and I’m really glad that I could be a part of it,” Clair said. “Understanding what people go through with cancer played a lot into my decision to come sing. I know what people are going through, and it adds a lot of emotion to any performances that I do.”
The eighth annual black tie-optional Lime Light Gala is held in honor of HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori and proceeds from the Gala support Nick’s House – which provides complimentary lodging for out-of-town patients and their families who are undergoing cancer-related treatment in the Philadelphia metropolitan area – as well as the essential services offered by HEADstrong on behalf of families impacted by cancer. Click here to purchase tickets for the event or to help sponsor the event.
Clair will be on hand to perform. She usually has a list of 30 songs that she likes to pick and choose from, but she’s adamant that every one of them always helps her deliver a message. One of her most impressive traits on America’s Got Talent was her resilience. Nobody should ever have to watch their loved ones suffer from cancer, let alone a then 13-year-old, but she was able to shine bright at one of the toughest moments of her life.
“I’ve learned that we aren’t given any trials that we know we can’t handle,” Clair said. “We’re given the tools to get through it, and no matter what, know that everything will be allright in the hand.”
That spirit and determination is all too familiar at the HEADstrong Foundation, and it’s a major reason why the Foundation is so excited to have the young star on hand to perform at its marquee event of the year.
“Evie was an inspiration to watch on America’s Got Talent, especially as she put everything she had into her performances to honor her father. Her family’s tenacity reminded me so much of Nick when he was going through his battle with cancer, and we’re honored to have Evie be a major part of the Lime Light Gala,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong Foundation President and Nick’s mom.
For more information on the HEADstrong Foundation please visit www.HEADstrong.org.
About HEADstrong Foundation
The HEADstrong Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to improving lives affected by cancer. HEADstrong was founded by Nicholas Colleluori, a Division I athlete entering his sophomore year at Hofstra University when he was terminally diagnosed with cancer. His public fight from the sidelines captivated the nation and from his hospital bed he created an organization focused on empowering student-athletes to improve lives affected by the disease. His vision was simple yet critical; helping real families when they needed it most, providing support so that families may live with a greater dignity and normalcy. Colleluori fought to improve the inpatient experience, the affordability and accessibility of care and tackled the general concerns facing the patient population.
Understanding the ripple effect and impact that a cancer diagnosis had on a family, Colleluori championed efforts to support caregivers and capital projects to improve accommodations. He built an awareness platform driven by lime green shoelaces, the national awareness color for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He empowered his own family and in the last days of his life asked them to pick up the ball where he left off. It’s a promise that the Colleluori family continues to fulfill through the essential programs and services offered by the HEADstrong Foundation, www.HEADstrong.org. HEADstrong invests more than $.90 of every dollar into a service offering 100% committed to improving the quality of life for families affected by cancer. HEADstrong grants financial assistance, funds projects to improve the inpatient experience, provides meals and outlets of entertainment, delivers comfort kits, peer support and most notably operates Nick’s House™, a haven of comfort for families seeking comprehensive cancer care.