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HEADstrong Foundation is charity of choice at MLL All-Star Game as Nick Colleluori’s legacy continues to grow

Wednesday, 4th July 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, HEADstrong, Pro, Posted 7/4/12
From Press Releases and Staff Reports

Saturday’s Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game in Florida also served as a tribute to the HEADstrong Foundation, this year’s charity of choice.

The Old School All-Stars rallied to earn an 18-17 victory over the Young Guns All-Stars in the All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill at FAU Stadium in West Palm Beach. But the game had much more importance.

HEADstrong-MLL auction jersey

Each year, Major League Lacrosse partners with a charitable organization and uses its annual All-Star Game as a vehicle to drive awareness and funds for an admirable cause. This year, MLL partnered with the HEADstrong Foundation. Founded by the late Nicholas Colleluori, a former lacrosse standout at Hofstra University, HEADstrong raises money and awareness for blood cancer. Nick passed away in 2006 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the foundation is carried on by friends and family in his memory.

Nick’s mother, Cheryl, the HEADstrong President and chief spokesperson, gave a heartwarming 1-minute speech that left the crowd and players speechless in admiration for the many contributions made by Nick, his legacy and the Foundation.

“We were honored to be named the charity partner of the 2012 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game,” said Pat Colleluori, HEADstrong Foundation Director of Development, and Nick’s Brother. “ We are grateful to Major League Lacrosse, Warrior Lacrosse, sponsors of the league, players, fans and the support network of HEADstrong Foundation who made this milestone possible.

“The game was an amazing tribute to our Founder, Nicholas, and the HEADstrong Foundation. It was a powerful visual statement in support of HEADstrong Foundation to see so much lime green in the stands, players on the field wearing HEADstrong uniforms, equipment, laces, chinstraps, crew socks and goal nets.

“Mom’s speech was a defining moment in our Foundation’s history; her speech, while only one minute long was a call to action that inspired and motivated all in attendance. The crowd erupted in support after she spoke, it was such an encouraging moment. As we walked off the field, every player embraced our family and shared with us how much they appreciate everything that we are doing in the game. We are committed to pushing the limit and making a difference in the lives of those dealing with blood cancer.”

This year, MLL used elements of HEADstrong’s corporate logo in its All-Star jerseys; a lime green color that is nationally recognized as the symbol of blood cancer. Designed by Warrior Lacrosse, the jerseys were signed by players immediately following the game prior to being auctioned off through the MLL online auction site.

The New Balance Foundation will once again generously match the net dollar amount being donated to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation. The New Balance Foundation has been partnering with the charitable giving generated by the MLL’s All-Star game for the past five seasons. Together, they have helped to raise over $140,000 for charities nation-wide. Past beneficiaries of the MLL All-Star Game have included Wounded Warrior Project (2007), Special Olympics North America (2008), the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (2009), MetroLacrosse (2010) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2011).

Auction Opened: June 30, 2012
Auction Closes: Tuesday, July 10, 12:00 p.m. ET

All-Star Game recap

Led by midfielder Stephen Berger of the Charlotte Hounds, the Old School All-Stars rallied to earn an 18-17 victory over the Young Guns All-Stars in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill at FAU Stadium on Saturday evening.

It marked the fourth straight year that the All-Star Game was decided by a single point. In addition, it is the third time in three All-Star Game match-ups that the Young Guns and Old School All-Stars played in a one-point affair.

The fans at FAU Stadium knew it was going to be a high-scoring and fast paced affair in the opening seven seconds of the game when midfielder Chris Eck won the opening face-off and scored to give the Old School All-Stars a 1-0 lead. From there, the Old School All-Stars added three of the next four goals to take a 4-2 lead with 9:57 left in the opening stanza.

But, back-to-back markers from midfielder Peet Poillon and attackman Drew Westervelt tied the game for the Young Gun All-Stars before midfielder Casey Powell regained a one-point edge by scoring an unassisted with 1:28 remaining.

After Berger and midfielder Paul Rabil extended the Old School advantage to 7-4 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Young Gun All-Stars rallied with three straight goals, including a goal and an assist from attackman Jeremy Sieverts, to even the score at 7-7 with 8:05 left in the first half.

The teams exchanged twice to end the first half with the score tied at 9-9.

Just like they ended the first half, the teams traded goals three separate times, including a two-point marker from Rabil, to open the second half before Westervelt and midfielder Kevin Buchanan scored consecutive goals to give the Old School All-Stars a 15-12 edge. With 42 seconds left in the frame, Sieverts converted a pass from defenseman Brian Karalunas to close within 15-13.

With 8:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, attackman Max Seibald tied the game for the Young Gun All-Stars when he fired a two-point goal off an assist from Sieverts, a former teammate when Seibald played in Denver. But, the Old School All-Stars battled back to take a 17-15 lead with back-to-back goals from midfielder Steven Brooks and attackman Chazz Woodson.

However, the Young Gun All-Stars answered right back with a two-point goal from defenseman Brian Farrell with 3:42 remaining to even the score at 17-17.

But, with just 56 seconds remaining, Brooks provided the heroics when he scored an unassisted goal to give the Old School All-Stars an 18-17 lead they did not relinquish.

While Berger scored three goals to lead the Old School All-Stars and earn the Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors, Brooks added both of his goals in the fourth quarter while Rabil scored twice, including a two-point marker.

Sieverts led the Young Gun All-Stars in a losing effort with two goals, including a two-point marker, with two assists. Meanwhile, Farrell and Seibald each added two goals, including a two-point marker, each.

The Old School All-Stars held a commanding 57-44 advantage in shots and won 18 of 35 face-offs.



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