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WWP Team Minnesota

A personal campaign sponsored by Thomas Cocchiarella

October 1, 2019


As a Vietnam Era Veteran I have been working with a fantastic Team of Volunteers since 2008 to raise money for America's current generation of Wounded Warriors, and we ask that you consider making a donation that will benefit our wounded. President Abe Lincoln said: "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan", he understood the sacrifices of our Veterans and their families. Please consider making a gift that will support life-changing programs that empower, employ, and engage America’s injured veterans. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, warriors and their families will never pay a penny for these important services. 

Our goal has been to raise over $1million to fund WWP programs, our wounded deserve the finest support we can provide, and WWP has been making huge contributions to the well being of our wounded for well over a decade. I have been exposed to hundreds or our wounded in working with WWP, and myself a Vietnam Era Veteran where we took off our uniforms when we came home and didn't talk about our service - nothing like WWP existed for my generation. WWP is so important after 20 years of war in helping our wounded adjust, in ways our Vietnam Veteran generation were never given a chance. Donate and help us take care of those that sacrificed so much.

History of Team Minnesota - WWP

Army Captain Matt Cavanaugh, a 2 Deployment Iraqi War Veteran, & Tom Cocchiarella, a USAF Cold War Veteran, started WWP Team Minnesota in September 2008. Tom & Matt become good friends as old fashioned "Pen Pals" during Matt's two tours in Iraq during the first & third years of the war. Later, Matt had just visited a friend and NCO who was severely wounded by an explosion in 2006 and discovered the work that the Wounded Warrior Project was doing to help this Soldier and his family. WWP Team Minnesota was born, and in the first 5 years we raised $245,000.00 in support of WWP efforts. With many more wounded since, and knowing the long term rehabilitation needs, we continue our quest to help our Wounded Warriors as all Volunteer fund raisers! While our fundraising helps all Wounded Warriors and their families across the United States, we try to keep a strong focus on Minnesota's 2000+ Veterans registered with the Wounded Warrior Project. We are proud to also assist in hosting Soldier Ride on an annual basis since 2017, providing volunteers to staff the route and encourage & cheer on the WWP Soldier Riders!

In January of 2009, the St. Paul Winter Carnival was about to crown a new Royal Family and "Vulcan Krewe", when Tom was introduced to Vulcanus Rex (Joe Vogel). Joe, himself a Marine Veteran, asked his Krewe to 'Adopt WWP as their primary charity" and we have been working together as a team since! This team has come together to build awareness for WWP Programs & Services, as well as raise a significant amount of money for the WWP Programs to operate.

We are very proud that our events have been put together by all volunteers, with donated facilities; services, products, food, etc. so that 100% of the funds we collect are donated to WWP to help our wounded and their families!

Links about WWP and our Team Minnesota Wounded Warrior Project work:

Star Tribune Story on Matt & Tom WWP efforts on 4/1/09


Jacksonville, FL TV News story on hitting the $1M Milestone

WWP Team Minnesota Reaching $1 million

10+ Years of Support

How Team Minnesota Reached $10 Million in Support!

WWP Home Site

The 6th Annual  Team Minnesota 

Soldier Ride is scheduled for July 21st & 22nd, 2023! 

July 21st, 2023: Start at the stairs at the Minnesota State Capital at 0900. Escorted by SPPD & SPFD, Minnesota Highway Patrol, U of MN Police, Ramsey County Sheriff's!

July 22nd, 2023: Start at Woodbury City Hall/Veterans Memorial at 0900. Escorted by Woodbury PD & FD, Washington County Sheriff's.

Come out and Honor those who have given us so much!

(Wounded Warriors apply for and are selected to ride in this event, escorted by Police & Fire in a "rolling roadblock" event!)

About Soldier Ride:

Soldier Ride ®  is a Wounded Warrior Project  (WWP) physical health and wellness program that empowers wounded veterans to become well-adjusted in body, receiving the care they need to maximize rehabilitation and live active and healthy lives. Wounded Warriors apply for and are selected to ride in this event, escorted by Police & Fire in a "rolling roadblock" event!

(Adaptive bicycles ere provided and fittedto meet each Wounded Warriors unique needs)

Memorial Donations:

In Memory of Todd E. Johnson

In Memory of Edward A. Kuntz (Army WW II - EOD)

In Memory of Andrew H. Anderson (Navy)

In Memory of Richard (Dick) Clarke (Marines - Combat Wounded - Vietnam)

In Memory of Marie E. Donahue (Gold Star Mom - Son/Vietnam)

In Memory of Charles L. Steffl (Korean War Veteran)

In Memory of Frank Cocchiarella (Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam)

In Memory of Mariano (Marty) Cocchiarella (Navy WWII)

In Memory of Luigi Cocchiarella - (Navy Reserve)

In Memory of Joseph E. Cocchiarella - (Korea, Army)

In Memory of Matthew Cocchiarella - (US Marines)

In Memory of Jim Cocchiarella - Army (SHAPE-NATO)

In Memory of Frank Yarusso - (US Marines)

In Memory of Jacob John Jordan Sr. - (WW II Navy Veteran)

In Memory of Richard R. Lensing - (Veteran)

In Memory of Michael P. Schwingle - (Vietnam, Marines)

In Memory of Virgil Brickzen - (WWII, Army Air Corps)

In Memory of Chuck Haskins - (Veteran)

In Memory of James Durning - (Veteran)

In Memory of Thomas Steiner - (US Army)

In Memory of Christopher E. Edstrom - (Veteran)

In Memory of James F. Kadlec - (US Army, Vietnam)

In Memory of Eugene Nels Edstrom - (US Army Air Corp, WWII Pacific)

In Memory of Richard (Dick) J. Thomas - US Air Force & Army

In Memory of Philip James Ellingson

In Memory of Mark Eide - US Navy

In Memory of Andy Allen - US Army, WWII Europe

In Memory of Dennis Prescott - US Army, Cold War

In Memory of Richard C. Lawrence - US Navy, WWII, Korea (USS W.C. Cole)

In Memory of Ronald J. Schommer, USAF retired

In Memory of Tom Schomaker, US Navy

 In Memory of Zachary Salmon, US Army 101st Airborne, KIA Afghanistan

Sports Team Donations:

Thomas Jefferson H.S. Football Team, Bloomington, MN

John F. Kennedy H.S. Football Team, Bloomington, MN

Carleton College Football Team, Northfield, MN

Minnesota Wild Hockey Club, St. Paul, MN

Willmar WarHawks Hockey, Willmar, MN

Forest Lake HS Girls Junior & Varsity Hockey Teams, Forest Lake, MN

Please contact Tom Cocchiarella at [email protected] with any questions, 

to make a donation, or to become a sponsor for our next event!

Thanks to our Volunteers, Supporters and all friends of WWP!

Special Thanks to: Jimmy's Event Center
, Vadnais Heights, MN for again hosting the WWP Team Minnesota Gala!

Our 2022 Gala Sponsors!

Jimmy's Event Center

Jimmy's Food & Drink

Aesop's Table

Cataract Lodge AF & AM

Minnesota Masonic Charities

Fragneto's, Inc. IT

Lifelong Wealth Advisors

CCM Property Solutions

Mary Cocchiarella - Brigadoon Realty

Globe Publishing

Cornermark Design, Art & Marketing Services

IRIS Computer Consulting

St. Paul Vulcans 2009 Krewe

Klondike Kate's

Quilts of Valor Ladies

Culvers - Sun Ray & Hudson & Woodbury

Thank You!

Many contributors made donations so that Wounded Warrior Family members could attend our benefit at no charge, as well as Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Cadets who were about to enter Active Duty. Each $65 donation allowed us to invite one of these as Sponsored Guests! Thanks so much to so many of our generous supporters/donors!

WWP - Team Minnesota

10799 Falling Water Lane

Unit - A

Woodbury, MN 55129

Please contact Jessie Carzoli at WWP: [email protected] with

questions or for information on hosting your own event!