Folsom, PA – Not even a brisk and dreary second day could damper the spirit and positive energy surrounding this weekend’s 6th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic at Ridley High School in Folsom, Pennsylvania. A festival-like atmosphere set the tone for the largest event ever held by the organization gathering over 10,000 spectators to witness some of the most competitive collegiate lacrosse in the country. The event featured 24 collegiate programs over the course of two full days. While teams were paired against one another the one common opponent was blood cancer, the disease that claimed the life of HEADstrong Founder Nicholas Colleluori. The event successfully generated over $180,000 for the HEADstrong Foundation giving them the ability to strengthen their commitment to providing assistance and resources to patients and families around the country dealing with blood cancers.
For teams this special event was an eye opening experience, a team building opportunity for them to be part of something bigger than the sport. A chance for them to see firsthand the power of the lacrosse community. For coaches, this event was not only a chance for them to evaluate their roster, it was a chance to unite their players in a common goal and an opportunity for them to share the true meaning of the game with their program. This event brought together families, friends, alumni and supporters to bask in the excitement of the Fall lacrosse season. At the heart of this event was a constant message of hope, strength, community and love within the game. A fitting tribute to HEADstrong Founder Nicholas Colleluori, on his beloved Phil Marion field at Ridley High School.
“The 6th Annual Nicholas Colleluori Classic was an amazing experience to be part of. I’ve said it before, and I will continue to repeat it, the places the Colleluori family has been able to take this organization in incredible. They have eclipsed organizations much larger and in existence much longer because of their approach and the partnerships that they have formed. A true honor to Nick and a testament to what passion, grass roots involvement and commitment can achieve.” – Steve Brown, Survivor and Honorary Team Captain
At the heart of this effort are the teams helping to promote the HEADstrong mission by fundraising on their respected campuses. This year the teams included: Colgate University, Drexel University, High Point University, Hofstra University, Lehigh University, Marist College, Marquette University, University of Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris University, St. Joseph’s University and Villanova University as well as Adelphi University, Albright College, Arcadia University, Chestnut Hill College, Marist College, Marymount University, Misericordia University, Neumann University, Randolph-Macon College, Rosemont College, Richard Stockton College, Thiel College and Widener University.
“I am almost at a loss for words after this very humbling and emotional weekend. This event captured the heart and soul of our Nick in every facet. It was an amazing tribute to him and all of those whose lives have been greatly altered as a result of the disease. We are honored to present this event annually and are really taken back by the reception and love that continues for my son and our family. We take great pride in knowing that this single event has helped raise over 1.2 million dollars for our fight since its inception. While we are exhausted from the weekend, we are revitalized at the same time. We are so proud to spearhead this effort in Nick’s name and continue growing his legacy, the HEADstrong Foundation. Like everything we do, we poured our heart and soul into this event. And as I addressed the crowd both days I got chills because I saw our Nick in each of the young men that stood before us. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the teams, coaches, officials, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, honorary captains, families and spectators that made this event so successful. Your continued support will allow us to continue evolving our services, providing much needed assistance and support to people in the fight of their lives. On behalf of Nicholas Colleluori, the HEADstrong Foundation and our family thank you for honoring and remembering our Nick and all that he stood for. Thank you for helping us to get a HEAD of cancer.” – Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom