Cole’s Crusade Obstacle Run raises over $20,000, helps local children battling critical illnesses overcome obstacles

More than 100 kids took off to overcome twenty obstacles at Memorial Park in Appleton Sunday.
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2022 at 7:22 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - More than 100 kids started their Sunday by racing through challenging obstacles, to raise money for children facing major medical setbacks.

The 6th annual ‘Cole’s Crusade Kids Obstacle Run’ challenged the kids to overcome twenty obstacles at Memorial Park in Appleton Sunday.

The obstacles represent the hurdles children face while battling a critical illness.

“When I was 10-years-old, my second-grade teacher had passed away from brain cancer. So I knew I wanted to help the community in some way,” said Cole Stoffel, founder of Cole’s Crusade.

At that time, the now 17-year-old, Cole Stoffel, created a non-profit called ‘Cole’s Crusade,’ and added Race Director to his list of accomplishments.

“Cole’s Crusade is about kids helping kids and giving back to families and children with critical illnesses,” Cole said.

Shortly after creating the organization, Cole found himself battling his own personal crusade.

“It was crazy being on the other side. It’s a way different feeling than I’m used to. You’re used to giving back and then now I was getting the give-back,” Cole said.

A few years ago, Cole was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic, rare liver disease.

“There’s actually no cure for it other than a liver transplant,” Cole’s mom, Julie Stoffel said while describing how it impacted her and her family, “We got to experience what they experience, and it made even more important for him to have that reach, to make a change, to make a difference and advocate for kids to keep helping kids.”

Cole has already made a huge impact through his non-profit. To date, he’s raised more than $70,000 to go directly to local families with children battling critical illnesses.

“His goal at this event was to help support 10 families throughout the year, so they get constant financial support,” Julie said.

By the time every participant crossed the finish line, Cole met his goal. Sunday’s race raised around $22,000.

Cole says he refuses to give up his efforts to raise awareness and funds for his friends fighting illnesses.

To help continue Cole’s mission, visit https://colescrusadewi.org/.

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