Philadelphia, PA – On Friday March 21st the HEADstrong Foundation™ rolled out the lime green carpet for an unforgettable evening as they presented the 4th Annual Lime Light Gala at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A capacity crowd of over 400 guests attended the event to recognize groundbreaking advancements in cancer research, honor inspirational stories of hope, support patients and families, remember those who have lost their battle and celebrate survivors of blood cancers.
The 4th Annual Lime Light Gala helped to raise over $170,000 to support Nick’s House™, a facility operated by the HEADstrong Foundation™ providing complimentary lodging for displaced families traveling to Philadelphia for cancer treatment and the Nicholas E. Colleluori Lymphoma Research Fund at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Stephen J. Schuster, MD.
This year, Philadelphia-native, recording artist and survivor, Lauren Hart, best known for performing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” prior to Philadelphia Flyers games, served as the emcee. But it was national recording artist Jesse Ruben’s acoustic performance of his single, “We Can” that set the tone for the evening that ensued.
“We Can” was a consistent message throughout the evening, as HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom, Cheryl Colleluori delivered a powerful and emotional address that captivated and inspired all in attendance.
The 4th Annual Lime Light Gala honored Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD presenting him with the prestigious HEADstrong Achievement Award. Dr. Dang serves as the Director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and was recognized for his work and research focusing on the MYC cancer gene and lymphoma.
The organization also recognized the inspirational story of survivor, heart transplant recipient, IRONMAN athlete, Derek Fitzgerald, presenting him with the Nicholas E. Colleluori Award. The award is presented annually to a survivor demonstrating heroics and perseverance in the fight against blood cancer.
Lacrosse Mustache Madness Founder Ken Clausen was presented with the Relentless Spirit Award for raising more than $400,000 for the cause through his annual fundraising campaign. The Relentless Spirit Award was created to recognize an ambassador of the organization, for advancing the mission, actively fundraising, and supporting the cause.
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation, the Colleluori family and all of those affected by blood cancers we wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to our guests, our sponsors, our partners, our award recipients, our presenters and entertainment, our dedicated volunteers, our planning committee, our silent auction donors and all who helped to make the 4th Annual Lime Light Gala an overwhelming success. The event was simply magical, inspirational and empowering. Thank you so much for believing in our mission and supporting the essential services that are offered by our organization. Because of you “We Can” strengthen our commitment to improving quality of life for those affected by blood cancers and supporting those working diligently to eliminate the diseases.” Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom