LITTLE FALLS/CEDAR GROVE, NJ - One particular sophomore at Passaic Valley High School has discovered how much two local communities care about him.
Anthony Englehardt, 17, was recently diagnosed with Advanced State 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer last December. The local resident and avid lacrosse player has been receiving treatment at Hackensack University Medical Center.
This year's opening day ceremony and parade in Little Falls this morning at the Little Falls Recreation Center saluted Anthony and his family.
"There is also the First Annual Singac Firefighters 5K, where all proceeds will go Anthony next Saturday," Mayor James Damiano said, adding that Anthony is also volunteer firefighter as a member of the Little Falls Fire Department Enterprise Company No. 2.
Developing a love of lacrosse growing up, he played regularly with many of his friends, including players from the neighboring Cedar Grove. As a member of the Hornets Lacrosse team a he continued taking part in his love of the sport.
Several of his friends have planned a day of lacrosse, beginning at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, April 22, in order to raise money for his medical treatment. The event will be held in Panther Park on West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove. Both the Cedar Grove High School's lacrosse teams, along with the Cedar Grove Lacrosse Club, will take part in the sport throughout the day, in order to raise money for Anthony's medical costs.
The event is being spearheaded by brothers Alexander and Nicholas Lopresti of Cedar Grove. Along with the Cedar Grove High School Panthers Lacrosse Team, they decided to pledge the season fundraiser to the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to providing essential programs and services to improve the lives affected by cancer.
"Most of the money we raise will be donated to Anthony," said Alexander. "Many of us from Cedar Grove played with Anthony in our youth programs."
The Lopresti brothers are asking everyone to check out their fundraising page and donate if they can.
"With your help, we can make an impact for Headstrong and Anthony! Any support that people can give will mean a lot," they added.
Anthony's treatment has been successful and his family remains hopeful.
Recently, Mayor Damiano presented the first ever "Key to the City" to Anthony from the Little Falls Fire Department in front of a large crowd.
"Little Falls may be a small town, but the showing at St. George's Church this evening proves that it's not the size of the town that matter but the heart and support of its residents," Damiano said during the evening.
Information on the upcoming 5K race on April 29 is available at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/LittleFalls/SingacFirefighters5k or https://www.facebook.com/singacfire5k/.
The HEADstrong fundraising page to benefit Anthony is available at https://pledge.headstrong.org/fundraiser/952366