Holmes, PA – When the Colleluori family lost their son and brother Nicholas in 2006 to a battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma they did not know how they would carry on. While each family member reacted differently to the loss and it seemed as though the Colleluori family would never be whole again. Cheryl Colleluori, Nick’s mother once described the family as a “table missing a leg”. A family wallowing in a state of depression, transformed in wake of the devastating diagnosis, 14 month battle and eventual loss of Nicholas Colleluori.
“We found ourselves clinging to pictures, clothing and equipment just trying to hold onto our Nick. His bedroom has stayed the same over the years; we don’t plan to change a thing. We all feel a sense of comfort in his room. Our home has always been a very welcoming place but the awkwardness of a silent home once filled with the energy and laughter of my boys really bothered me. I often wondered if life would ever go back to the way things were before cancer affected us. It was at that time that I began to look through things created by Nick and identified how we could see his vision into reality.” says Cheryl Colleluori
While going through journal entries and documents uncovered on Nick’s laptop the family became inspired by the experience that Nick archived and the frame-work that he created for the organization now recognized as the HEADstrong Foundation.
Through the help of Hofstra Men’s Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney, the Colleluori family began to create a special fundraising event with the purpose of memorializing their son Nicholas while generating funds to support the fight against blood cancer in his name.
From its inception the Nicholas Colleluori Classic has become a tradition in the sport of lacrosse. Now in its 6th year, this milestone event hosted by and benefitting the HEADstrong Foundation has seen over $1,000,000 generated in their fight against blood cancer.
The HEADstrong Foundation is proud to announce the 6th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Fall Men’s Lacrosse Classic on Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7, 2012 at Ridley High School in Folsom, PA. The two-day event is dedicated to remembering the life and legacy of HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori while promoting the importance of community, brotherhood and sportsmanship within the game.
22 collegiate men’s lacrosse programs, 10,000 supporters and a large group of volunteers will descend upon Nick’s home field, Ridley High School to be apart of the 6th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic.
This year the Division I line-up includes the following programs:
Colgate University, High Point University, Hofstra University, Lehigh University, Marist College, Marquette University, University of Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s University, Robert Morris University, St. Joseph’s University and Villanova University
This year the Division II & III line-up includes the following programs:
Adelphi University, Albright College, Arcadia University, Chestnut Hill College, Dowling College, Marymount University, Misericordia University, Randolph-Macon College, Rosemont College, Richard Stockton College and Widener University.
The event schedule is currently being finalized and the HEADstrong Foundation hopes to have it available by the end of August.
Often referred to as the NCC this event is an emotional experience to be apart of. Each team is led by an honorary captain who is either a survivor or patient of blood cancer. In addition the Colleluori family delivers a heartfelt address to all of the participants and attendees during the HEADstrong Ceremony. Each program is recognized for their commitment to the foundation and sincere appreciation for making the event a success.
“It is hard to believe that 6 years have gone by since the passing of our Nick and the start of the NCC. Every year we are rejuvenated by the success that this event has had. The outcry of support still overwhelms us and we are so proud of the impact that this single event has made within the blood cancer community. The NCC is the single most requested event that our network of patient advocates asks to be part of. As a family, as a Foundation and as a sport we come together to pay tribute to my son and our Founder Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori. We work diligently to ensure this event is an amazing experience for all who attend. We will never forget that the creation of this event was the catalyst which sparked the HEADstrong Foundation. We are incredibly grateful to our past and present teams, vendors, volunteers, sponsors and families who have continued to support the NCC and the HEADstrong Foundation. We look forward to seeing everyone in October.” Cheryl Colleluori HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom.