Whether it’s defending the country, succeeding in the technology business, fighting cancer, or advocating on behalf of U.S. veterans, Tom Cocchiarella isn’t someone who gives up easily – or at all.
Paying it Forward
Tom Cocchiarella is a generous man — and a tenacious one. Whether he’s defending the country, rising through the ranks of a technology business, fighting cancer, or advocating on behalf of U.S. veterans, he simply does not give up.
Tom is a Vietnam-era veteran from a family of veterans. So, when he was approached to help raise money for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), he was all in. He wasn’t sure how he’d go about it —marketing, selling, and organizing fundraisers weren’t exactly in this IT guy’s professional toolbox. But, just as he did in every other endeavor, Tom would give it his all.
Tom Cocchiarella (center) with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington (right) and WWP Chief Development Officer Chris Needles.
Tom Cocchiarella was presented with the Service Award at the 2018 Courage Awards and Benefit Dinner.
“As we started working with Wounded Warrior Project and meeting some wounded warriors, we realized $25,000 pays for a lot, but we needed to do more than that.”
It took a little over a year to raise the first $25,000. Fifteen years and countless fundraising activities later, Tom passed the $1 million mark in donations, helping WWP provide lifesaving and life-changing programs and services to thousands of wounded veterans and their families. Throughout his fundraising journey, Tom has convinced entertainers, hotels, and restaurants to donate goods, services, and event spaces. He said the convincing part actually isn’t that difficult when people get to see who they’re helping. It’s the same reason he wanted to help.