The Rise Challenge Steps up Big for HEADstrong

By Drew Haig

(HOLMES, PA) — With the cancellation of the Nicholas Colleluori Classic (NCC) lacrosse events this fall due to COVID-19 and restrictions surrounding NCAA athletics, the HEADstrong Foundation pivoted to rally the collegiate community. The tournaments are typically a large fundraising initiative supported by the players and event attendees. This year’s inability to host birthed a new conditioning challenge that could be tackled anywhere in the country, completely isolated or with teammates.

The Rise Up Challenge focused on individual participants joining the campaign, and highlighting their commitment within their personal communities via social media and conversation. Participants then took to stadiums, gymnasiums, dormitories, train stations and city centers to climb 1,660 steps, bringing to light the number of families that lose a loved one to cancer each day in America. High school and college athletes took up the charge, and raised necessary funds to help offset the loss of the NCCs, and forward the mission of improving lives affected by cancer.

Dozens of teams, primarily lacrosse and field hockey, joined in on the campaign, helping to raise $23,454 during the fundraiser that wrapped up at the end of September. Lafayette Men’s Lacrosse and Hofstra Women’s lacrosse led the teams in funds raised and participants.

“This is a way for college teams to compete this fall for an amazing cause, at a time when it is needed the most,” said Pat Myers, Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at Lafayette College.

For teams looking to take flight after the event, the campaign will remain open through the fall. Interested groups may contact HEADstrong’s Director of Community Engagement, Jeff Baxter at [email protected]

About the Foundation:
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 on the HEADstrong Foundation and its mission of improving lives affected by cancer, visit and follow @HEADstrongFnd on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Thank you to all for your continued support, and we look forward to returning to the steps in September of 2021.