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What the HEADstrong Foundation’s President Loves About the Main Line

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Cheryl Colleluori, Holmes

President, HEADstrong Foundation

Nicholas “Head” Colleluori was a star lacrosse player at Hofstra University when he was diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, succumbing to the disease 14 months later. Before his death, Colleluori founded the HEADstrong Foundation, enlisting his mother, Cheryl, and other family members to help. Since 2006, it has raised more than $5 million for patients with blood cancers. HEADstrong hosts its fifth annual Lime Light Gala on March 13.

What makes Lime Light unique: Lime Light is an occasion to honor Nick and others who lost their battles with cancer, or are still fighting. It’s a very personalized event, filled with equal parts tears and laughter. And that’s because it’s our heart, our son, our Nick. 

Most memorable donation: Every so often, I’d get checks in the mail for odd amounts, like $12.10. It turns out that a 12-year-old girl was inspired by my son and wrote a song about him. These were proceeds from the sale of that CD. She’ll sing that song to open this year’s gala. 

Where the money goes: We find problems that patients are having and solve them. With “HEADtable,” we bring Christmas and Thanksgiving meals to patients and their families. We have a service where patients being discharged can order groceries online, and we’ll have them delivered to their homes so they don’t have to go to the store. We also have a comedy night. 

From Left: La Porta Ristorante & Wine Bar, Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon

The Main Line’s best-kept secret: Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon in Glen Mills. I just had a massage there [where] the masseuse walked barefoot on my whole body—from my neck down to the soles of my feet. There is a contraption on the ceiling that she used to balance herself.
It was so wonderful that I didn’t want it to end. 

Favorite place for a date: A quiet night at the beach. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We met when I was 15 at a Wings game and were married when I was 19. 

Best restaurant in the area: La Porta Ristorante & Wine Bar in Media. 

From Left: Media Theatrenbsp;for the Performing Arts, Retro Fitness

Where she stays fit: Retro Fitness in Holmes. They have a big theater with cardio equipment set up facing the screen. You can watch a movie while you exercise. 

Favorite thing to do with her grandkids: I have three of them—ages 5, 3 and 2. I take them to plays at the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts or in Center City. Not children’s theater—full productions. We sit right up close,and they’re completely engrossed in the story. Plus, I bring them each a Ziploc bag with snacks. 

Visit headstrong.org

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