Coley Ricci Earns Second Nick Colleluori Award; B+ Hero Hayden Weiss Awarded Birthday Check
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the second straight year, Delaware senior Coley Ricci (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) was named recently as the Nick Colleluori Award honoree as the Blue Hens competed in the Fourth Annual University City Classic, which is a special collegiate event honoring the life and legacy of Nicholas Colleulori.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me and I really appreciate the support from my teammates and coaches,” exclaimed Ricci. “I am honored to be recognized as someone who embodies Nick Colleluori’s attributes and be able to play and support a great cause.”
Additionally, the team’s B+ Hero, Hayden Weiss (at right), was surprised with a generous birthday check from the Colleluori family and HEADstrong Foundation. Weiss, a cancer survivor who turned five years old earlier this month, was “adopted” by the Delaware women’s lacrosse team this past spring through the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.
“We are truly blessed to be partnered with the Delaware women’s lacrosse team,” remarked Hayden’s father, Andrew Weiss. “We are certain that there is not a better group of genuine, kind and loving young ladies anywhere in the world. We are constantly humbled by the way they treat us as a part of their family and it’s no wonder why Hayden refers to them as her ‘big sisters.’ They have done so many considerate acts behind the scenes that were performed out of love and are unrecognized by the general public. This team and their coaches are true role models. We can only wish that Hayden can grow up to be just like them someday.”
Ricci continued, “We are so fortunate to have Hayden. She is an amazing kid with a lovable personality. She inspires us on and off the field and puts a constant smile on our face. You would think twenty-six 18-to 22-year olds would be role models for a five-year old, but it is honestly the opposite. Hayden’s courage and strength motivates us every day and she brings so much joy to our team. We are so lucky to have Hayden as not only our B+ Hero, but also as our little sister.”
Benefitting the HEADstrong Foundation, the University City Classic is held in the shadows of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where HF founder Colleluori fought his relentless battle against non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
In total, the Blue Hens were one of 14 men’s and women’s teams that took part in the event. Delaware faced Georgetown, Penn and USC as part of the day filled with collegiate lacrosse and student philanthropy in support of those in the fight against cancer.
Colleluori, a 2004 graduate of Ridley High School (Pa.) and lacrosse student-athlete at Hofstra University, created the HEADstrong Foundation (HF) shortly after he was diagnosed with the blood cancer in April 2005. Before passing away in November 2006, Colleluori’s wish was to have his family carry out his vision for the Foundation with its mission of “HEADing efforts to improve quality of life for those affected by blood cancers and supporting those working to eliminate the disease.”
According to HEADstrong.org, “The HEADstrong Foundation is relentless, driven by our passion and commitment to honesty, integrity and selflessness in our efforts, to the population we support through the sport of lacrosse.”
Since its inception in 2007, the HEADstrong Foundation has raised more than $7 million in support of more than 12,500 patients and their families who have been affected by cancer.