Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/6/19
The HEADstrong Foundation, a Philadelphia-area based non-profit organization designed to ease the hardships plaguing families affected by cancer, will honor five individuals who are equally committed to the foundation’s core mission and values, during the 9th Annual Lime Light Gala at Vie By Cescaphe (600 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA) on Friday, March 15, beginning at 7 p.m.
This unforgettable and inspirational evening is held annually to recognize groundbreaking achievements and stories of hope, while also remembering those who have been lost, in an effort to shine a light on the difficulties endured by families facing a cancer diagnosis.
The 9th Annual Lime Light Gala will honor married Associate Professors of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Dr. John P. Plastaras, MD, PhD, and Dr. Neha Vapiwala, MD, who is also the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Perelman School of Medicine and Vice Chair of Education for Radiation Oncology; Haley and Nancy Snyder, a 24-year-old survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and her caregiver mother, who stayed at Nick’s House Swarthmore during Haley’s treatment; and Paul Ehrlichman, Head of ClearBridge Investments Global Value Equity investment team, who is being recognized for his direct involvement, contributions and generosity over the last decade towards HEADstrong and Nick’s House Swarthmore.
Haley and Nancy Snyder will receive the prestigious Nicholas E. Colleluori Award. Haley was diagnosed with leukemia and in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant at just 23 years old. The time sensitivity and difficulties of securing a donor match led Haley’s doctors to recommend a haploidentical transplant, a groundbreaking new treatment that used a half-match donor. For Haley, this donor was Nancy, and the two came to the Philadelphia area from their home near Harrisburg, almost two hours away, to fight Haley’s disease together. Now back home, Haley and Nancy entered 2019 focused on good health, healing and recovery.
“The Lime Light Gala is an incredible, meaningful evening that we are privileged to host annually,” HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori said. “At HEADstrong, our focus is to continue my son Nick’s vision of improving quality of life for those affected by cancer with programs designed to offer emotional, financial and physical support. This year, we have gone to great lengths to enhance the experience with a new venue, incredible menu, international talent, distinguished honorees, world-class silent auction, music and dancing to Jellyroll, making for an incredible night in support of our cause. We wish to extend an invitation to all that can attend the Lime Light Gala.”
The optional black-tie event will include a five-star silent auction, gourmet dinner, a special live performance, an award presentation followed by an evening of dancing to the music of world-class entertainment by Jellyroll. The event is held annually to honor the life and legacy of HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori, who succumbed to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006 at the age of 21; before he passed, Colleluori’s dying wish was that others would learn and benefit from his story.
Britain’s Got Talent 2018 contestant Marc Spelmann will perform at the event. Spelmann captured the hearts of viewers around the globe with his incredible magician skills as well as his emotional story. Spelmann was the first to receive a golden buzzer from the show’s judges — including the notoriously difficult to impress Simon Cowell — after a heartwarming magic trick involving the story of his 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, who survived the chemotherapy of Marc’s wife, Tessa, who was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant.
Additionally, Fox 29 and Good Day Philadelphia’s Emmy-Award winning traffic anchor Bob Kelly will serve as Master of ceremonies. Kelly, who has revolutionized television traffic reporting over a 30-year career, joined the FOX 29 news team in 2014 after serving as traffic anchor at CBS 3 for 13 years. The first Philadelphia traffic reporter to do his reports in front of a green screen, the popular, high-energy Kelly has earned the nickname “The Dean of Traffic.” A native of Northeast Philadelphia and graduate of Temple University, the hometown Kelly is known to viewers for his combination of wit and knowledge of local streets and highways.
Proceeds from the Lime Light Gala will support Nick’s House, as well as the essential services offered by the HEADstrong Foundation on behalf of families impacted by cancer.
Please visit www.headstrong.org/llg to learn more about the 9th Annual Lime Light Gala and how HEADstrong is improving lives affected by cancer.