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Welcome to WWP Team Minnesota!


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 1600+ Veterans registered with the Wounded Warrior Project. We are proud to also help host 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)

(NPR's "The Story" -  30 min Radio program - about Matt & Tom & the TransRockies Run)
(WWP Home Site)

  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)

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


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


Please contact Tom Cocchiarella at with any questions,
to make a donation, or to become a sponsor for our next event!

Upcoming Events:

Minnesota's 3rd Annual WWP Soldier Ride!

Friday July 12th St. Paul Ride Starts at the steps of the State Capital at 9:00 am

Route Map Here:

Saturday July 12th Woodbury Ride Starts at the Woodbury Veterans Memorial at 9:00 am

Route Map Here:

We welcome everyone to come out along the routes and cheer our Wounded Warriors as they ride together with Police and Fire Department support.



Past Events & News Section


2nd Annual Soldier Ride - Completed on July 13th & 14th 2018!

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.

(Adaptive bicycles were provided and adjusted to meet each Wounded Warriors unique needs)

Day 1 Ride 7/13/18 - Started at the State Capital

Thanks to the St. Paul Police & Fire Departments and MN Highway Patrol!


Day 2 Ride 7/14/18 - Started at Woodbury City Hall

Thanks to the Woodbury Fire & Police Departments!

Watch this KSTP TV Video: 



Our 1st Annual Soldier Ride was held on July 28th & 29th 2017

 Pioneer Press story about Friday’s Ride:

 KSTP TV Video from Friday's Ride


MN Wild Head Coach Bruce Bordeaux Interview about WWP on Friday afternoon at Sled Hockey:  


Thanks for attending the 

10th Annual WWP Team Minnesota Gala! 

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



Special Thanks to:

Jimmy's Event Center


Please contact Jessie Carzoli at: any questions or for information on hosting your own event!



Our 2019 Gala Sponsors!  


Jimmy's Event Center

Jimmy's Food & Drink

Aesop's Table

Cataract Lodge Af & AM

Minnesota Masonic Charities

Viking Sprinkler

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

hyvee - Oakdale

Devon Worley Band

Miller Tax


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
9187 Cambridge Road
Woodbury, MN 55125

Please contact Jessie Carzoli at WWP: with

questions or for information on hosting your own event!


Total Raised


of $1,000,000.00 goal raised
1 of 1
1 of 26213
Constance J. and Thomas's Team
WWP Team Minnesota
George A. Slipka
2268 days ago
Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises
2412 days ago
Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises
2044 days ago
2777 days ago
3102 days ago
Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises
1305 days ago
Minnesota Executive Squire
2223 days ago
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause Llp
1267 days ago
Cataract Lodge No. 2 A.F. and A.M. of Minn...
1225 days ago
Minnesota Masonic Charities
1575 days ago
10th Annual Team Minnesota Gala
PS One-of-a-Kind Fundraiser
Location: Jimmy's Event Center