Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/19/20
From Press Release
Calling all student-athletes, your season isn’t over yet!
Three Student-Athletes – two from Philly – are leading the charge and taking one last shift on April 6th 2020, National Student-Athlete Day, to be the difference for cancer patients who are at the HIGHEST RISK of complications due to COVID-19 by participating in the Last Shift Virtual 5k Race.
Ally Kennedy of Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse, Grant Ament (Haverford School) of Penn State Men’s Lacrosse and Michael Sowers (Upper Dublin) from Princeton Men’s Lacrosse have come together to lace up one final time, now they ask that you join them in their efforts.
“These folks rely on the HEADstrong Foundation’s services. We are all at home, in shape, collectively upset that our season was cancelled, willing and able to do something together for the greater good, ” said Sowers, who had led Princeton to an undefeated start and was the nation’s leading scorer when the season ended last week.
While many schools, parks and tracks are closed due to social distancing restrictions, participants should run through their neighborhoods, on their treadmills or can even jog in place. The key to this campaign is broadcasting your run via social media and uniting with fellow athletes across the country using #LastShift2020.
“This is a way for us as seniors to gain some closure on this season and hand the torch to the next class. We ask everyone to join us on April 6th and help circulate the message.” said Ament, who was among the nation’s scoring leaders and had helped his Nittany Lions to a Top-5 national ranking.
For Kennedy – a senior from North Babylon (NY) and a Tewaaraton Watch List candidate – getting her senior season cut short is something she never imagined but is looking at this as a new opportunity to play for the greater good. “This campaign means a lot to me, being able to be a part of something that’s much larger than myself in a time of adversity shows that it has always been more than just a sport for so many people.” she said.
There are 3 easy ways to support the Last Shift Campaign, so the HEADstrong Foundation can strengthen their commitment to those at highest risk as they fight cancer through financial, residential and emotional support.
“Nick’s playing career being halted due to uncontrollable circumstances is certainly relatable given the current climate,” said Pat Colleluori, HEADstrong Chief Development Officer & Nick’s Brother. “Being a collegiate student-athlete unknowingly prepared my brother for his fight against cancer. At just 19, faced with a terminal diagnosis, Nick confided in his teammates and their compassion and encouragement during that time gave him the assurance and motivation to create the resource that he wished existed for his own family as well as others who would follow in his footsteps.
“He found the best version of himself in being part of a team. He considered it the highest honor to learn from and play alongside some of the best in the game. In a letter to his teammates in the last days of his life, Nick wrote “You are my pulse and while I may not be there with you; as long as you keep beating, I am still alive.” We are seeing so much of Nick in the efforts of these amazing student athletes who are rising amidst the current health crisis and using their voice in the most positive and constructive way possible.”