Marquette hosts No. 4 Duke for HEAD Coaches Classic on April 22

Fans are encouraged to donate to the HEADstrong Foundation, while MU's helmets and jerseys will be up for auction.
April 12, 2017

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-release courtesy of the HEADstrong Foundation-

MILWAUKEE - On Saturday, April 22, the Marquette Golden Eagles will host the Duke Blue Devils in the HEAD Coaches Classic at Valley Fields at 12 p.m. Central time. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network and is expected to draw a capacity crowd after the 2015 game drew a record of over 4,500 fans at Hart Park, the largest to ever witness a lacrosse game in the state of Wisconsin.

The event will help raise awareness and funds to support of the HEADstrong Foundation, a cause that holds special meaning to both head coaches, Marquette's Joe Amplo and John Danowski of Duke. Both teams are encouraging their supporters to donate $5 for each goal their respective team scores during the game. Click here, to make a pledge.

To honor Colleluori and his legacy, the goals will be strung with lime green nets and both teams will take the field wearing HEADstrong accessories. Marquette will unveil limited edition HEADstrong uniforms and equipment, which will be auctioned with all proceeds supporting the HEADstrong Foundation.

HEADstrong Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on improving lives affected by cancer that was founded by Nicholas Colleluori, a former Hofstra University lacrosse player who both Amplo and Danowski recruited, coached and fought alongside of during his 14-month battle against non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Colleluori passed away in 2006, he was just 21 years old.


 

 

"I learned so much about life through Nick's incredible journey," Amplo said. "Cancer did not define or change Nick, in the last days of his life, he was still the same Nick that I recruited and the same Nick that played his heart out for us. He was one of the most charismatic individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I consider myself privileged to have coached him."

In 2005, Colleluori's public fight from the sidelines captivated the nation and from his hospital bed he created an organization focused on empowering others to improve lives affected by the disease. His vision was simple yet critical; helping real families when they needed it most, providing support so that families may live with a greater dignity and normalcy. Colleluori fought to improve the inpatient experience, the affordability and accessibility of care and tackled the general concerns facing the patient population. He built an awareness platform driven by lime green shoelaces, the national awareness color for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He empowered his own family and in the last days of his life asked them to pick up the ball where he left off. It's a promise that the Colleluori family continues to fulfill through the essential programs and services offered by the HEADstrong Foundation, www.HEADstrong.org.

"Nick taught me how impactful love can be in sports. He lived his life as the ultimate teammate by loving and caring for others before himself. Nick's legacy lives on in our team because the selflessness that Nick lived with is the most important characteristic that we teach and demand from our players each day." said Amplo

To date, HEADstrong has assisted more than 14,000 families having allocated more than $10 million in aid. HEADstrong grants financial assistance, funds projects to improve the inpatient experience, provides meals and outlets of entertainment, delivers comfort kits, peer support and most notably operates Nick's HouseTM, a haven of comfort for families seeking comprehensive cancer care in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The organization is currently underway the construction of a second location which will be located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The new location will allow HEADstrong to provide an additional 2,555 complimentary nights of lodging and support annually for families displaced to the Greater Philadelphia Region seeking clinical trials and comprehensive cancer care.

"Nick Colleluori was the epitome of what at Hofstra we called a `Turnpike Guy,' which was the highest compliment you could receive," Danowski said. "He embodied the classic core values of trust, loyalty, respect and commitment. No one gave greater effort or got more out of his body than Nick did. He demanded perfection from himself while leading by example. When he entered a room, he lit it up with his smile and personality. He was and forever will be a `Turnpike Guy.'"

The Colleluori family will be on site to address the crowd prior to the game and will recognize the relentless efforts of both coaches. HEADstrong will also have an awareness station at the game and will be selling the latest in HF merchandise with proceeds supporting their mission.

"Both Joe Amplo and John Danowski have a very special place in our hearts," Cheryl Colleluori said. "I still get very emotional when speaking with either of them, because of all that we have been through together. Our Nick had the upmost respect for both of them. We are so glad that Nick, despite only being there one year prior to his diagnosis had the opportunity to play for such amazing men. One of hardest things that I have ever had to do in my life was tell my son that he had cancer and both Joe and John were by our sides. They supported Nick and our family during our darkest days and continue to be involved in honoring Nick.

Please visit, www.HEADstrong.org to learn more about how HEADstrong is improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

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