The VMI lacrosse program announced it will host a Fall Event Series HEADstrong Tournament set for Oct. 30 at Drill Field No. 2 on North Post.
The HEADstrong Foundation is an organization offering financial, residential, and emotional support to families affected by cancer. The organization was founded in 2006 by Nicholas Colleluori, who played lacrosse at Hofstra University. Colleluori was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood cancer affecting the lymphatic system, during his freshman season in 2005. Colleluori passed away in 2006.
Colleluori recognized the scarcity of essential resources for families during his fight. The HEADstrong team is based in Philadelphia and works relentlessly to provide resources for patients and their families who are receiving specialized cancer care throughout the country.
Today, HEADstrong has raised more than $24 million and assisted nearly 23,000 families.
VMI will welcome Washington and Lee University and Lenoir-Rhyne University to post as they will be members in the inaugural three-way tournament.
HEADstrong has sponsored lacrosse tournaments and games nationally for over 10 years. VMI will be the farthest south the tournament has traveled in its history, and it will be the last of its sponsored tournaments this fall.
The event will have much more meaning than lacrosse as it will honor the memory of Nolan Moran. On July 1, 2021, four-year-old Nolan “Bear Boy” Moran was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma—an inoperable, terminal brain tumor that primarily attacks children. This past April, Moran passed away, wrapped in his parents’ arms and surrounded by his brothers and sister.
This event and all the money raised will honor Moran’s legacy by providing financial, residential, and emotional support to other families affected by cancer.
“This event is about much more than lacrosse,” said James Purpura, VMI lacrosse head coach. “Everyone knows someone [who] has been impacted by cancer, so using lacrosse as an avenue to raise money and provide support to families in need is just awesome. HEADstrong has a history specifically with the sport of lacrosse, and their cause is incredible. This specific event is even more special that we get to honor a young man close to our program’s heart in Nolan ‘Bear Boy’ Moran.”
“We get to welcome two local programs to post where we all get to scrimmage one another and work together to prepare our teams for the upcoming season,” Purpura continued. “It is also nice for people in the Valley to be able to check out the sport of lacrosse as it continues to grow by bringing three collegiate programs together to the area.”
Game times for the tournament:
12 p.m. – VMI versus Washington and Lee University
2 p.m. – Washington and Lee versus Lenoir-Rhyne University
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on vmikeydets.com.