By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/9/15
Since the inception of the HEADstrong Foundation, Wray has been heavily involved with the cause, and this year, head coach Taylor Wray was looking for a way to embrace the mission on campus through hosting this special charity event featuring his Hawks, Villanova and Lehigh in a three-game Fall Ball series. The event will raise funds to support HEADstrong’s programs and services to improve quality of life for those affected by cancer.
“We’ve never hosted a Fall (college) scrimmage and this was so convenient,” said Wray. “All of us are in the area. We started playing Villanova last year (in the fall) and that was certainly a neat thing since the schools are such good rivals.
“Then to have Lehigh come in makes it that much more exciting. I think it’s great for the Philly lacrosse community to have three local schools like this playing at one site.
“We all have a lot of Philly players and people from New Jersey are nearby. And of course, Any event to support the HEADstrong Foundation is a positive for us.”
Wray knows first-hand what the HEADstrong Foundation can mean to a family dealing with blood cancer. He has spoken before about the impact of blood cancer since his sister-in-law, Caroline Gallagher-Cranston, passed lost her fight with blood cancer in 2010.
“HEADstrong definitely is something that has a special place in my heart,” Wray said. “My family went through it and I certainly can relate to what HEADstrong is trying to do to support those families. It means a lot to be able to raise awareness and money for cancer research and people dealing with it now.”
The three teams have created an online donation page and Wray said the teams are encouraging fans to come to the pre-game tailgate.
GAME #1 – 12:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s vs. Villanova
GAME #2 – 1:30 p.m.
Villanova vs. Lehigh
GAME #3 – 3:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s vs. Lehigh
“This event has provided an incredible experience that has even engaged our students on campus, who will be volunteering their time and energy at the event,” added Wray. “We are looking forward to a wonderful day of competition for a higher purpose and are honored to have members of the Colleluori family and HEADstrong on hand to share their story and impact.”
Student philanthropy is at the center of this special event with all three participating teams hosting a conjoined online fundraiser to assist the goal. Additionally, each player will take the field wearing HEADstrong’s iconic lime green shoelaces to promote awareness for the cause. HEADstrong will honor heroes and their families at the event and present the prestigious Nicholas Colleluori Award to a member from each program whose contributions both on and off the field are transforming the landscape of their represented program.
HEADstrong will have an awareness station featuring the latest in HF awareness merchandise and apparel with 100% of the proceeds supporting the mission. A $5.00 charitable donation will be asked in lieu of admission. HEADstrong will be set up over the walkway to the bleachers from the Mandeville lot.