Lehigh MLax Enjoys Busy Fall in the Community

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh continued to make a difference in the community this fall, taking part in several different community events, initiatives and causes. The Mountain Hawks began by volunteering with the City of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation, continuing into Community Night, Reading Rocks and much more.

"Community service is great because it's a positive on both sides of it," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "We're helping some phenomenal people, including young people who are going to be the next generation and future leaders. It's great to work with organizations who do so much good in the world. We feel great that we're helping all these people in some small way, and then on the other side, the experience really helps our players put things into perspective."

"What I am most impressed with is the willingness of each and every one of the guys to participate and lead different initiatives," said senior co-captain Reid Weber. "I think we all understand how blessed we are to attend such an incredible institution, and for the good health we have to play the sport we love. So when the opportunity to give back to those less fortunate presents itself, we jump all over the chance."

Just a few days into the fall semester, the Mountain Hawks held their annual community service kickoff for the City of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation. This year, the team handled cleanup under the Fahey Bridge, went into the woods and cleaned up trash and helped clean up parts of South Bethlehem.

Next for the Mountain Hawks was Community Night on Oct. 3 when Lehigh opened its doors to all members of the community for an hour-long free lacrosse clinic.

"It gets kids playing lacrosse and having a good time, then they stay and watch our Alumni Game right after," said Cassese.

Following pacing break in October, the Mountain Hawks were the first Lehigh Athletics team to head to Donegan Elementary School for the Reading Rocks program. The whole team spent approximately one hour with the students, helping them read before getting to know the youngsters through playing games and other activities.

The Mountain Hawks also went to the Lehigh University Child Care Center twice this fall, as they have every year.

"We went over and taught the kids how to play lacrosse," said Cassese. "We also played on the playground, did some puzzles and played some games and had a good time with them."

Lehigh's lone fall weekend of outside competition this fall came on Oct. 10 at the HEADstrong SJU Fall Scrimmage as the Mountain Hawks played host Saint Joseph's and Villanova. The HEADstrong Foundation is a 501(c)(3) committed to improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families through providing essential programs and services. The blueprints for the Foundation were conceptualized by Nicholas "HEAD" Colleluori in 2006, from his hospital bed while he underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which ultimately claimed his life. Today, Nick's vision is being fulfilled through the relentless efforts of his family, athletes and supporters across the country uniting in the fight against cancers.

"There was a fundraising goal set by headstrong for all three teams of $3,000," said Cassese. "We surpassed that goal 24 hours before the actual event happened. Our team played a huge role in that and everybody chipped in and supported the cause for the fight against blood cancer."

The Mountain Hawks have been heavily involved in HEADstrong events in the past and are big supporters.

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