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September 27, 2017

Six-year-old to Serve as Honorary Captain for La Roche Soccer Team

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 27, 2017 – On Oct. 7 the La Roche University soccer teams will have a special guest on the sidelines. Leo Zambori, a first-grade student battling leukemia, will serve as honorary captain for the men’s team for the second time.

La Roche junior and midfielder Conner Hagins said, “Leo is an excited 6-year-old boy who has changed my life. He is the biggest Redhawk soccer fan we have and wears his La Roche gear with great pride.”

Leo met Mr. Hagins in April 2016 when the men’s soccer team visited the oncology ward at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC during the Cuddles for Kids second Kickin’ it With the Kids event. Founded by Mr. Hagins, Cuddles for Kids is a nonprofit that has donated more than 107,000 items or roughly $500,000 worth of goods to children’s agencies around the world. The organization recently sent toys to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“Leo has taught us all that no matter how bad your day may seem, or how upset we might be over a loss, that it’s really not that bad. Leo faces his treatment and leukemia with a huge smile on his face. You can’t be in a bad mood when he’s around,” Mr. Hagins said.

In addition to naming Leo honorary captain, Mr. Hagins and his team put together a T-shirt fundraiser in Leo’s honor. Members of the soccer team and Leo will deliver the proceeds and Halloween activity bags to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Oncology Department, where Leo receives his chemo treatments, in mid-October. The limited edition Redhawk T-shirts are available for purchase on until Sept. 29.

“If we can help just a little bit by giving back to the Oncology Department, we can make a difference in the lives of Leo and other children dealing with childhood cancers,” Mr. Hagins said.

The Oct. 7 game will take place on the La Roche campus at the Baierl Athletic Complex and is open to the public. The men’s game is at 1 p.m., followed by the women’s game at 3:15 p.m. The Zambori family, including father Chad, mother Natalie and older brother Nolan, will accompany Leo to the game.

For further information contact Conner Hagins at or 814-243-7091. Visit to learn more.


About La Roche University: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctoral program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,500 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.