Fox Twins Continue to Lead the Charge for HEADstrong
By Drew Haig
(PHILADELPHIA) – Nick and Nolan Fox exemplify what it means to be a HEADstrong supporter.
The Foxes are identical twins from Ridley, PA who have worked relentlessly during their young lives to carry the torch of the late Nicholas Colleluori, founder of the HEADstrong Foundation. Aside from the perceptible similarities as Division I lacrosse players from Delaware County, the Foxes share the same positive and ambitious spirit that defines Colleluori’s memory.
As youngsters, Nick and Nolan joined the Delco, PA tradition of playing lacrosse seemingly from the time that they could walk. An area that is known for producing tough and talented players, the Foxes earned their stripes in the local rec-leagues that were available before committing to the more strenuous route of playing club lacrosse with the dream of one day joining the ranks of NCAA collegiate players. To further that goal, the Foxes joined the HEADstrong Lacrosse club where their connection to the foundation and Colleluori would begin to solidify. They improved their physical abilities and developed the lacrosse-IQ necessary to compete at the next level under the guidance of Colleluori’s brother, Michael, also a stand-out Division I player.
“Early on, the talent level caught the eye of plenty of the coaches in the area–but talent will only get you so far in this sport,” said Coach Michael Colleluori. “It was their positive attitude, willingness to compete, and coachability that made Nick and Nolan stick out from the crowd. Any coach would be grateful to have one young player with the leadership and care that the Foxes bring to the table; having two of them . . . we were thrilled!”
With a fateful decision by Coach Michael to put a defensemen’s stick into Nolan’s hands and convert him to the long-stick-midfielder position, the brother’s Fox were bound for excellence. They continued their outstanding lacrosse careers at Ridley High School, Nicholas Colleluori’s alma mater. While walking the halls and playing on the same field as Nicholas, the connection to the HEADstrong Foundation continued to grow.
“It was always bigger than our own program,” Nolan Fox said. “It was really ingrained into our community because Nick Colleluori went to our [Ridley] high school. We have his big jersey hanging up in our locker room.”
The influence of the Colleluori family and Nicholas’ message continued to impact Nick and Nolan during their time in high school. The young men served as foundation ambassadors through their travel with the lacrosse club to tournaments across the country, and supported HEADstrong by participating in several fundraisers including Go Lime, which provides players with the resources to pledge their stats. Nick and Nolan made their impact on and off the lacrosse field, corralling their community to support the foundation.
“The Headstrong foundation allows us all to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, something bigger than the sport of lacrosse. Knowing we can make a difference in people’s lives through our involvement in the foundation is why we’re here,” said Nolan Fox.
While receiving several offers to compete in college, the Foxes landed on the nearby prestigious Drexel University to continue their playing careers. It just so happens that Drexel was the first Division I school to integrate HEADstrong’s mission into their program through the now-famous lime green laces. As college players, Nick and Nolan furthered their work with HEADstrong when they joined the foundation as summer interns in their junior year. Their donated efforts elevated multiple community events including 5ks and online campaigns.
Both brothers opted to study pre-med in their undergrad, tempting the line of insanity with an expansive course load combined with the demands of being a Division I athlete. As inspiration and to keep Nicholas’ spirit alive, Nolan donned number 27 (while Nick wore 7), carrying on the legacy and ensuring that they had a constant motivator by their side. One of the highlights of their time at Drexel was competing in the Nicholas Colleluori Classics, an annual fall scrimmage series featuring some of the top teams in the nation on both the men’s and women’s side of the game.
“Headstrong is something that has been a part of my life ever since I started playing lacrosse. Nick’s story and legacy were a part of the lacrosse culture in my hometown, and playing was about something much bigger than just the sport. I am honored to be able to carry on Nick’s message and make an impact on the lives of those affected by cancer through supporting the foundation,” said Nick Fox.
And now, the Fox Twins are leading the charge on HEADstrong’s latest fundraising campaign, the Rise Up Challenge, created to replace the fall event series that was cancelled along with the majority of NCAA fall athletics. The #RiseUp2020 campaign is a 3-day stair climbing activity that urges teams and individuals to take to their stadiums, gymnasiums, local track or dorms to run 1,660 stairs on September 28-30, one for every family who will lose a loved one to cancer each day in the United States. Teams can share their fundraising page online and within their communities–it is not too late to register! So get started today, and together we can improve lives affected by cancer.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN:
3 Days, 127 Flights totaling 1,660 Steps! Are you ready to Rise Up Against Cancer? The HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to improving lives affected by cancer is proud to introduce a new athletic “Team” campaign for the 2020 fall. Whether at a stadium, gymnasium, dormitory or at home, athletes are being tasked with climbing 1,660 steps over the course of 3 days to signify the 1,660 families who lose a loved one each day in the US due to cancer while competing against other teams nationwide. The 3-Day virtual event will begin on Monday, September 28 and run until Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Teams can REGISTER any time at https://pledge.headstrong.org/RiseUp2020
Rise Up Against Cancer is intended to challenge collegiate teams both physically and mentally while uniting them off the field through fundraising to support families overcome by cancer. This campaign will raise essential funds for those families who are also navigating the turbulence of COVID-19; rigorous treatment often results in patients being immunosuppressed, and living with a pre-existing cancer makes the patient population that we serve at the greatest risk of complications should they contract the virus.
Players and teams will use the weeks leading up to the kick-off of the campaign to promote their association and drive donations. Proceeds directly support the essential services provided by the HEADstrong Foundation and fund nights of lodging at Nick’s House, a guest residence owned and operated by the HEADstrong Foundation for families displaced in the pursuit of lifesaving cancer treatment and clinical trials.
HEADstrong Foundation (EIN:26-0283021) Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori founded the HEADstrong Foundation in 2006 while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The organization is committed to serving as a direct resource to families overcome by cancer, offering financial, emotional, logistical and residential support including Nick’s House. Our promise is to uphold, preserve and expand our founders vision and final request that others would benefit from his life and experience through cancer. For more information HEADstrong Foundation or The Rise Up Challenge, please visit our website at www.HEADstrong.org or follow us on social media, @HEADstrongFND.