Oak Forest, IL – A beautiful 75 degree forecast set the tone for an amazing lacrosse weekend as the HEADstrong Foundation hosted their inaugural Chicagoland Lax Getaway, as part of their Tour For A Cure event series. This special event was held with the purpose of uniting programs in the fight against blood cancer with proceeds supporting the local blood cancer community through the services offered by the organization. The event was also a chance to celebrate the growth of the sport in the Midwest while providing a positive team building experience.
“The greatest opportunity that I have is to serve the sport that I love so much. Through this event our players learned how their effort on the field could benefit someone who is battling for their life against cancer. The kids learned that they were part of a larger family and that is what makes lacrosse so special. I am honored to have participated in such a great event and applaud the Colleluori family and the HEADstrong Foundation for their relentless efforts to keep Nick’s dream growing.” David Ho, Mount Carmel High School Head Coach
“The tournament was a great experience for my teams. Many of my players were aware of the HEADstrong Foundation, but didn’t truly understand the story behind the Foundation or the passion of the Colleluori family to carry on Nick’s legacy. Not only did we play great lacrosse, but more importantly my players where inspired to get involved within the fight against blood cancer. This was an extremely positive experience and we’re looking forward to playing in the tournament in 2013.” Tim Duffy, Ante Up Lacrosse Club Head Coach
Chicago Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, IL was the site of this great event. The venue was the perfect place situated in the Southside of Chicago, an area where youth lacrosse is booming. The event made possible by Aloha Tournaments, a company with a well established resume for hosting first class lacrosse events.
“We were incredibly humbled by the reception that we received from the Chicago lacrosse community this weekend. The HEADstrong mission was embraced and the event was a great chance for us to solidify relationships with lacrosse programs from the Midwest and do something together for the greater good. It was incredibly rewarding to meet so many wonderful families and introduce them to our cause and having the chance to share with them the impact of their contribution. The positive energy was contagious. Plans are already underway for next year.” says Pat Colleluori, Director of Development
The HEADstrong Foundation has always taken a grass roots approach to promoting cause awareness and during the event the members of the Colleluori family had the chance to extend their sincere appreciation to all of the teams that made the event possible by giving each player and coach a pair of their signature Laces For Lymphoma.
“Our laces for Lymphoma are recognized as a symbol of strength, hope and love in our sport that transcends uniform color. We wanted to empower these teams and let them know that they were part of something special. This event was a great starting point for us. It was so wonderful to see firsthand the growth and interest surrounding our game, we are honored to be part of something special in Chicago that programs can rally behind to make a difference.” says Michael Colleluori, HEADstrong Vice President
And while the game of lacrosse is growing rapidly throughout the country, as is the rates of occurrence and reoccurrence of blood cancer. New cases of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are expected to account for 9.0 percent of the estimated 1,596,670 new cancer cases diagnosed in the US in 2011. Proceeds from the HEADstrong Foundation’s Chicagoland Lax Getaway have been earmarked for patients and families dealing with blood cancers in the Chicagoland area. A reality that is all too familiar to the Colleluori family who operates the HEADstrong Foundation as a promise fulfilled to Founder Nicholas Colleluori who succumbed to the disease in 2006 after starting the organization.
“The purpose of this event series is to promote our message and take the proceeds and use them to make life a little better for patients and their families dealing with blood cancer. Even this weekend the reality of this disease could not escape us, having met several families who attended the event whose lives have been greatly altered as a result of this disease. We understand the power that we as a sport can have in making a difference and are working diligently to create ways teams from around the country can get involved. It was great to see so many people who understand the true meaning of this game.” says Pat Colleluori
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation, the Colleluori family and my son and founder Nicholas Colleluori we wish to thank all who made this event possible. First, to the coaches, players and families of Chicago, thank you for believing in our fight and recognizing our cause. We truly felt at home and we take great pride in knowing that Nick’s vision is being realized in the Midwest. Second, to the Aloha Tournaments family, we could not have done this event without your tireless work, research and commitment to our cause. We are truly grateful to Chris Hutchins and his team for their relentlessness in putting on a first class event. Lastly, to the patients and families dealing with this disease in the Chicagoland area, we are proud to host this annual event to raise awareness and provide assist to those in need. We have walked in your shoes and you are not alone. As a lacrosse community we stand united to shutout blood cancer.”
Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom