Mike Bender (center), general manager of HEADstrong Lacrosse Club Lehigh, is joined by Southern Lehigh Boosters Club members Penny Caciolo (left) and Denise Scozzafava after the club raised more than $8,500 on Cancer Awareness Day in April.

 

Emmaus and Southern Lehigh Lacrosse scored early and often on April 21, but the result was much greater than what was reflected on the final scoreboard at Emmaus Memorial Field.

Southern Lehigh defeated its traditional rivals, 13-6, on Cancer Awareness Day. But rather than rejoice after their big victory on the field, the visiting Spartans joined the Hornets in celebrating the success both teams shared off it, in raising awareness and funds for the HEADstrong Foundation.  

Scores of HEADstrong merchandise was sold by members of both teams’ players and boosters, who threw down their sticks and put aside their differences to help organize a raffle that raised money for the cancer charity. All told, the day raised $8,547.73. 

Putting the victory behind him and his team, Southern Lehigh head coach Ty Souders was in a reflective mood following the result on Cancer Awareness Day and was pleased by the performance of both teams’ efforts.

“I think it’s unique in a couple different ways because it shows the power of the Lehigh Valley community and also the lacrosse community within the Lehigh Valley as it comes together to raise funds and awareness,” Souders told Phillylacrosse.com.

“It was a great day, start to finish and I give credit to both the Emmaus and Southern Lehigh boosters as well. Both teams sold T-shirts and did a laundry list of things to raise money. They literally took ownership in the fundraising efforts.”

In addition to organizing a raffle and selling HEADstrong merchandise, from bracelets to T-shirts, Hornets and Spartans players, donning the foundation’s traditional lime green and blue, prepared and oversaw a practice for local youth lacrosse players.  

Logan Blondell of Southern Lehigh was among the players on hand who helped organize the youth event, and the Navy commit shared similar sentiments of his head coach.

“Last year we lost this game and it left a bitter taste in our mouths,” Blondell told Phillylacrosse.com. “We wanted to come out and get the win, but this event is more than a lacrosse game.”

The HEADstrong Foundation™ is a 501(c)3 committed to improving lives affected by cancer, founded by the late Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori. The non-profit organization plays a vital role as a direct resource to families overcome by the hardships of cancer. HEADstrong provides a variety of services, which range from financial assistance to funding capital projects to peer mentorship and, most notably, HEADstrong operates Nick’s House™, a guest family home providing more than 2,555 nights of complimentary lodging and support to families displaced in the pursuit of life-saving cancer treatment. Today, Nick’s vision is being fulfilled through the relentless efforts of his family, athletes and supporters across the country uniting in the fight against cancer. For more information on the HEADstrong Foundation and how to donate, host a fundraiser or volunteer, please visit www.HEADstrong.org.

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