By Ryan Brong
James Cipolla, a senior at Parkland High School in Allentown, Pa., was the East Penn Conference Most Valuable Player last season, racking up a staggering 70 goals and 46 assists. His highlight reels are a sight to behold, and Cipolla is committed to play lacrosse at the Ohio State University.
Cipolla first picked up a lacrosse stick when he was 5 years old, a rarity for an area like the Lehigh Valley, where the game is still growing. As he grew up within the game, playing for the HHH Lacrosse Club and starting to gain some traction with college scouts, Cipolla was also starting to gain knowledge of the HEADstrong Foundation.
“When I was playing U9 I went to a tournament called the Liberty Lacrosse Shootout,” Cipolla said. “HEADstrong had a little tent, and was giving out information.” From there, Cipolla would educate himself more about HEADstrong and its lacrosse tournaments. Locally, a HEADstrong club team began in the Lehigh Valley.
Now a senior, the two-time District 11 champion has decided to pledge his 2019 stats and Go Lime for HEADstrong this season. But his connection to the mission of the HEADstrong Foundation is much deeper than just lacrosse.
“When I was in fifth grade, my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer,” Cipolla said. “At the time, I didn’t know what cancer was. All I knew is it could take someone’s life.”
Cipolla found comfort through the game of lacrosse, which his mom had introduced him to when he was 5. “It was nice having a team to go to that’s always having my back,” he said.
Cipolla not only stands out for his Parkland Trojans lacrosse team, but also in his Go Lime fundraising efforts for HEADstrong. To date, Cipolla has raised over $3,000 in support of families affected by cancer.
Go Lime for Cancer is an initiative that allows third-party fundraisers to raise money for HEADstrong that is directly tied to their performance on the field. Through the fundraising platform Pledge It, Go Lime allows a player to create a campaign and set a trackable stat goal that they would like to reach that season. Then, donors, can either pledge a flat dollar amount to Cipolla’s campaign, or donate on a per-point basis based off his statistics on the lacrosse field.
For instance, Cipolla’s goal for his senior season is to raise $5,000, and he hopes to score 120 points this season. Pledge It estimates that Cipolla will need to raise approximately $25 per point to reach his goal.
Going Lime is a great way for athletes to involve themselves in the fight against cancer, regardless of the sport they play.
“I think HEADstrong is going to stay with me for eternity,” Cipolla said. “I would love to take it with me to Ohio State, and come back in the summers and coach a HEADstrong team.”
You can read James’ page and help him reach his goal of $5,000 by clicking here.