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Madison 8th Grader named as 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree
Posted on 02/08/2018
Cole Stoffel, a Madison 8th grader, was named Wisconsin's top Middle Level Youth Volunteer in the 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

Their judges were so impressed with Cole's outstanding volunteer work that they chose him from among all the other Wisconsin nominees in this year's program to be recognized as one of your state's two State Honorees for the year 2018.

This is a great honor for Cole, for Madison, and our community. 

Cole will be presented with an engraved Prudential Spirit of Community silver medallion soon, and then from April 28-May 1, 20I8, he will be invited to Washington, D.C., along with the other 101 State Honorees for several exciting days of special recognition events. There, he will receive $1,000 and be considered for one of ten national awards. 

The 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree letter states "Above all, we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your compassionate dedication to improving the lives of others. The kind of vision and commitment you have demonstrated is extremely important to the future of our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation. Young volunteers like yourself are inspiring examples to all of us; you are our brightest hopes for a better tomorrow."

Based on the number of volunteer hours Cole has accrued, he also qualified for the President's Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Congrats Cole!

Check out Cole's nomination letter from Madison Middle School

Middle Level State Honoree: Cole Stoffel 

Nominated by James Madison Middle School in Appleton 

Cole, an eighth-grader at James Madison Middle School, has raised more than $22,000 for pediatric cancer research and scholarships for cancer patients and survivors by running in an annual half-marathon and then creating his own fundraising obstacle race. While in elementary school, Cole lost his teacher to brain cancer. "Mr. Maufort was a great teacher who always encouraged us to get involved in our community and to give back," he said. To alleviate his grief and follow his teacher's advice, Cole connected with the Snowdrop Foundation of Wisconsin and began participating in its annual run to raise money and awareness for young cancer patients. 

"After my third half-marathon, I realized we needed a kids-only event, and it seemed fitting to add obstacles, which represent the obstacles that children go through when battling cancer," said Cole. So, on his birthday, he held his first "Cole's Cancer Crusade," a fun kids obstacle-course run at a local high school, benefiting the Snowdrop Foundation.

With help from his family, Cole publicized his event through speeches, fliers and social media, sought sponsorships from businesses, and built the obstacle course. Over the past two years, his event has drawn more than 500 participants, and his combined fundraising total has reached $22,500. "I know Mr. Maufort is looking down at each event I am at, and I just want to keep fulfilling what he always told us to do: get involved and give back!" said Cole. 
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