Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/4/18
From Press Release
“You are my pulse and while I won’t be there with you, as long as you keep beating, I’m still alive.”
This was the last sentence that Nicholas Colleluori wrote in a powerful letter to his lacrosse brotherhood in the end of his life. These inspiring words encapsulating his unconditional love for team and the fraternal bond of the lacrosse community continues to drive the games relentless support of the HEADstrong Foundation.
“This season, more than 4,500,000 American families will be devastated by the realities of a cancer diagnosis. Together as a sport, we are united in the fight against cancer and committed to supporting families, helping them to navigate their cancer journey with clarity and quality of life,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom.
This month NCAA DI, DII and DIII men’s lacrosse teams nationwide are uniting on and off the field to honor the life and legacy of Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori and supporting his vision, the HEADstrong Foundation, through participating in USILA HEADstrong Awareness Month. The campaign, which was conceptualized in 2016 originally consisted of one week, however last year the USILA expanded the campaign to encompass the entire month of April in effort engage and accommodate the most participation.
This year, HEADstrong has created an individual fundraising link for every NCAA DI, DII and DIII men’s lacrosse team. Supporters have the ability to search and support their alma mater or favorite college team by clicking here.
“The USILA is honored to partner with a cause, so rooted in college lacrosse. We are proud to fight alongside of the HEADstrong Foundation and use our platform as a vehicle of awareness and impact for real families devastated by the hardships of cancer. As coaches, as parents and as players, this disease impacts us all and the USILA HEADstrong Awareness Month is our way to recognize the prevalence of this disease and an opportunity to lead by example and be the difference,” said Graham Leveston, USILA General Manager.
Earlier this season, HEADstrong began welcoming families to Nick’s House, a newly opened guest family residence which provides complimentary lodging and support for families pursuing life-saving cancer treatment. The new guest family home seeks to provide more than 2,555 nights of lodging and more than $1.25 million in annual relief to families across the country. The NCAA lacrosse community was directly involved with the demolition and renovations made to the 100 year old home.
Teams are using their marquee matchups as a platform to raise awareness and funds to support the HEADstrong mission. For instance, Johns Hopkins plans to auction custom helmets which will debut during their BIG10 match against Ohio State University on April 7th. On April 14th, Duke University will host the Marquette Golden Eagles in a special event in tribute to Colleluori.
Duke Coaches John Danowski and Ron Caputo as well as Marquette Coach Joe Amplo recruited and coached Colleluori at Hofstra University. The two teams have committed to using their match to raise $27,000 with the purpose of funding a guest room at the new Nick’s House. The action will get underway on Wednesday April 4th with the RIT Tigers, currently ranked #1 by the USILA DIII Coaches Poll hosting SUNY Cortland in a rivalry game. Others teams plan to outfit themselves in HEADstrong awareness items and lead the charge on their respected campuses.
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation, the Colleluori family and those we humbly serve, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the NCAA college teams and the USILA for carrying our Nick’s torch and championing our mission. Together we are truly relentless in the fight against cancer. HEADstrong plays such a vital role on behalf of families nationwide and the USILA HEADstrong Awareness Month is an incredible platform that provides assurance to so many that they are not alone.” – Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom
Proceeds from the USILA HEADstrong Awareness Month will allow the HEADstrong Foundation to strengthen their commitment to families overcome by cancer and fund nights at Nick’s House.