October was a busy month here at HEADstrong. We kicked off our Fall Events series on 10/5 with our Nick Colleluori Classic at Hofstra University. The weekend was emotional for the Colleluori family but the event as a whole was a success and was a great way to kick start the Fall Events series for the foundation.
Following the event at Hofstra was the Men’s University City Classic at Penn. Penn, Army, Albany and John Hopkins faced off in a series of scrimmages. Each team showed their support for HEADstrong in their own unique way. Some had green laces, green string on their sticks, but Penn and Hopkins took it one step further wearing lime green pinnies and t-shirts for the event complete with the HEADstrong logo.
During intermission between the scrimmages, HEADstrong gathered each team and their family and friends to midfield for a presentation. Cheryl shared her story and explained to the athletes the importance of the event. That it is more than just lacrosse. To help drive the mission home that much more, two local families whose loved ones are battling cancer were in attendance. Drew Stranix and PJ Kent received checks for financial assistance from HEADstrong.
UCC Nick Colleluori Award Winners:
Penn- Adam Goldner
Army- Matt Manown
John Hopkins- Forry Smith
Albany- Steven Kunz
The following weekend 3 events took place. On Saturday Cabrini held their DIII Classic where Cabrini, Catholic and Fairleigh Dickinson played in a series of scrimmages.
On Sunday 10/20 Lafayette hosted the Nick Colleluori Classic. Teams that participated in the event were Drexel, Lafayette and St. Johns. Lafayette’s John Natoli was their Nick Colleluori Award recipient. He has raised over $8,000 for HEADstrong this year alone and almost $20,000 over the last three years. This was an extremely emotional event for all involved. Thirteen year old Jack Ohl has been battling leukemia and it hasn’t been the easiest journey for him. The athletes did what they do best and they rallied around Jack to show him that he is not alone during his fight.
“Hosting the Nick Colleluori Classic in Fisher Stadium this October was truly an honor and pleasure for our program. The ages of 18-22 are transformative years for our young men, and it is extremely humbling and impactful for them to be familiar with the Nick Colleluori narrative. The work that the HEADstrong foundation is doing within the Lehigh Valley as well as nationally is truly special. We are looking forward to future opportunities to work with the HEADstrong Foundation.” said Patrick Myers Lafayette Head Coach.
The Penn Women’s University City Classic also took place on 10/20 at Franklin Field. Penn, Penn State and Virginia Tech participated in the event. Nine year old Maddie O’Keefe from Berwyn was the benefactor of this event but due to some complications in treatment, she was unable to be in attendance. Her dad accepted the financial assistance on her behalf, and is forever grateful for HEADstrong and all of their help during this extremely difficult time.
Nick Colleluori Award Winners:
Penn- Erin Barry
Penn State- Kristin Roberto
Virginia Tech- Taylor Caskey
The Fall Events series is a way for HEADstrong to spread the mission both on and off the lacrosse field that their founder Nick Colleluori loved so much.
“Thirteen years later Nick’s spirit continues to shine. He chose the perfect name for the organization, it defines our efforts as we work to improve lives affected by cancer. More importantly, it defines those fighting for their lives. We are HEADstrong! Thank you for being part of the HEADstrong family!” remarked Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom.