Whittier College

Whittier College raises $3,000 by hosting a HEADstrong Foundation Event
March 2010 – Whittier, California

(view photos)

The Whittier College Men’s Lacrosse Team held its first HEADstrong Night, to support the HEADstrong Foundation, founded in memory of Nick “Head” Colleluori on Friday, February 19, at 7:00pm against the University of Southern Maine.

The HEADstrong Foundation recognizes and appreciates the efforts of the team and coaching staff, especially James Morgan, former teammate of Nick Colleluori. The team sold our lime green t-shirts and our signature shoe laces as a way to raise public awareness of the disease and funds that will be put towards blood cancer research.

Whittier’s opponents, University of Southern Maine also supported HEADstrong Foundation by purchasing and wearing the foundation’s lime green dri-fit shirts for this game. Special thanks to both teams for supporting our cause and keeping Nick’s spirit alive.

Nick Colleluori, a member of the Hofstra University Lacrosse Team, died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, at the age of 21. While fighting the disease, Nick created the Foundation to raise public awareness and help others affected by blood cancer. The mission of the HEADstrong Foundation is dedicated to bringing Nick’s vision to reality and helping eliminate this disease. For more information about the HEADstrong Foundation, please visit. www.headstrongfoundation.org.

A note from Whittier College Assistant Coach James Morgan (Hofstra Captain 2005), former teammate of Nick:

I first met Nick in the Fall of 2004, my junior year at Hofstra University. The reputation of Nick’s tenacious style of play preceded him. Nick stood out immediately the first day of practice. He was a little undersized, but made up for it through the effort and the speed at which he played the game. Not only did his style of play stand out, his passion for the game and competitive spirit was immediately evident. The joy and pleasure that Nick played lacrosse was contagious. He was instantly respected by everyone on the team. What stood out to me the most about Nick wasn’t his relentless style of play, rather it was his sportsmanship. He would be the first guy to knock you down, but he’d be right there to help you back up.

Not many freshmen are able to come in and offer much to the upperclassmen; however, Nick was. When I first heard of Nick’s passing, I was sitting at a desk working in customer service for a lacrosse company based in Los Angeles. As I sat at my desk, I remember wishing I were with my former teammate, and wanting to do something for Nick and his family. I felt alone and isolated, but worst of all, I felt as though I did not have anything to offer.

As an assistant coach at Whittier College, I feel a sense of responsibly to Nick and the HEADstrong Foundation to spread his story. With the current growth of lacrosse in California, Nick’s story is one that needs to be shared. HEADstong Night is the Whittier Men’s Lacrosse Team’s, way of showing appreciation for what Nick brought to the game, as well as, his commitment to fighting this disease so that others may have better chances of survival. As a former teammate and friend, this is a chance for me to carry the ball for Nick.