By Chris Goldberg
LIlacrosseNews.com, Posted 3/26/12
LILacrosseNews.com was at the Hyatt Regency on Penn’s Landing Friday night with the items being auctioned at the 2nd annual HEADstrong Foundation Lime Light Gala.
The event celebrated the life of Ridley High’s Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori and helped raise money for the Foundation’s mission of defeating blood cancer through awareness and fund raising. In her typical emotional speech, HEADstrong President Cheryl Colleluori, Nick’s mother, told the large gathering that, “In a time in his life when it would have been perfectly acceptable to be selfish, he was selfless…”
Nick Colleluori died in November of 2006 after a 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while playing lacrosse at Hofstra. He created the idea of the HEADstrong Foundation to help others that were diagnosed with blood cancer. Nick’s family has continued his fight and helped spread their message throughout the lacrosse community into what now is a national drive to fight the disease.
Mrs. Colleluori told the crowd that $1.2 million had been raised last year and that the Foundation has raised $2.7 million in its five years of existence.
The ceremony last night kicked off with a lively performance by Philly’s nationally-recognized sports comedian Joe Conklin, who made it seem that Charlie Manuel, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson, among others, were all in the house.
The evening’s top highlight was the presentation of the inaugural Nicholas E. Colleluori Award to Delaware County’s Stephen Brown, a survivor of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (more on the winner in a full story Sunday).
To find out more about the HEADstrong Foundation, go to headstrongfoundation.org.
Meanwhile, the event also featured a silent auction and alive auction. The silent auction featured a number of donated pieces of equipment and uniforms (many signed). The highlights were team jerseys from Princeton, Michigan, North Carolina, Syracuse and Maryland as well as Team USA. Hofstra and HEADstrong gear packs also were being auctioned as well as an STX grab bag of hot stuff.