Member Monday: Assault Challenge Foundation

TibbetsThe Cancer Assault Challenge is right around the corner and we were fortunate enough to get the dish on everything related to the event from Julie Lopez, one of the founders of this incredible fundraising event that benefits the MACC Fund! Read on to get all the details and history, and to find out how YOU can help give hope to kids by participating.

Q: What is the Assault Challenge Foundation?
A: Our foundation was founded in hopes of raising awareness in our local community, helping our community and surrounding communities to join together for a common cause and to make a difference.

Q: Who does the Assault Challenge Foundation help?
A: We are helping friends, neighbors, family members and our community to give back and help in the fight against cancer as well as helping other local charities.

Q: How was the Assault Challenge Foundation started?
A: We started by forming the Cancer Assault Challenge in 2013 when our son said he was tired of doing the same old thing to raise money to help others.  After many discussions CAC was born followed by the Assault Challenge Foundation in January 2016.

Q: What is the mission of the Assault Challenge Foundation?
A: We are a grassroots organization hoping to make a difference in our local communities.  We have been dedicated to helping raise cancer awareness but are not limited to that.  We plan on expanding our scope to include Camp Getaway in September of this year.

-_83-LQ: What differentiates your challenge from similar fundraising events?
A: We have made our event family friendly, it’s only as competitive as you’d like to make it, affordable for anyone and it has a personality of its own.  We give back locally to our communities and are happy to say we are 100% volunteers within our Foundation.

Q: When is the date and time of the upcoming event?
A: Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Q: Is the Cancer Assault Challenge event annual, or does it take place multiple times throughout the year?
A: This is an annual event.

Q: Where is does this event take place?
A: Lutherdale Bible Camp, Hwy 12, Elkhorn WI

IMG_0115-LQ: Is the Cancer Assault Challenge a traveling event (does it only take place in Elkhorn, or does it travel to other cities/states as well)?
A: It is Elkhorn based and home grown.

Q: How does the fundraising process work for each participant?
A: Participants only have to pay a registration fee –  we don’t ask for you to ask your friends to sponsor you.  However, many participants do come with extra checks that they have collected.

Q: What is the fee to participate in the Cancer Assault Challenge event?
A: Registration fees are:

$40   Extreme Run
$30   Couch Potato Run
$20     Student Rate (12-18) either Run
$20     Student (6-12) Couch Potato Run ONLY

Q: What is the most physically challenging obstacle in the course?
A: I really can’t say which is the most challenging, that is different for everyone.  I think everyone LOVES the water obstacle hosted by Clearwater Outdoor of Lake Geneva. They have done a fantastic job for us!

Q: Is there an age restriction for your event?
A: Yes, 6 to 106

Q: Can teams participate in your event, or is it solely for individual participants?
A: Teams are welcomed, most of our participants run with a team of friends or family members.  As the years have gone by it’s an ongoing challenge to have the biggest team in the event.  DDHS has been leading the pack and hoping to hit 100 this year but, WHS is nipping that their heels and brings them in by the bus load now.

_DSC3054Q: If someone isn’t able to participate in the challenge, can they still help the cause somehow?
A: There are plenty of volunteer opportunities.  It takes a village to pull off this event.  We build and design our own obstacles with the help of many local builders who volunteer their time.  The day of the event we generally are between 70-85 volunteers to run smoothly.  So if running isn’t your thing I have many other ways for you to help, marketing, sponsorship, planning, logistics, obstacle monitors, water stations, clean up, and sponsoring this event.  Without our sponsors and volunteers this wouldn’t be happening, they make all the difference.  Our event has truly been blessed with the generosity of those involved.

Q: How much has your event raised for the cause, as a whole, to date?
A: We will be over $100,000 at the end of the event this year.

Q: How much of the fundraised money goes back to the cause?
A: We try to keep expenses as low as we can by asking for donations of materials needed and negotiating the best prices for what we need each year.  Our expense ratio differs each year depending on the number attending so it’s between 20-25%.

Q: Please describe the entire process of participation from signing up for the event through completion of the event.
A: You start by making a commitment to yourself to do the challenge.  Then find some other crazy friends or family members who also like to play in the mud.  Go to our website www.cancerassaultchallenge.org and sign up online or download a registration form complete, sign it and don’t forget to include your email so we can contact you with race details.  The week of the event on Wed (this year 5/11) we have an early registration so you can chose to come and pick up your swag early and not have to stand in line the day of the event.  You will receive an email that week listing the wave time you or your team will be running.  We have a shuttle that runs from Tibbets Elementary school on Cty Rd A in Elkhorn to the event.  The parking fills up fast so it may be your first choice.  Spectators are welcomed and we just ask that you donate at our registration table.  Many other events charge upwards of $10 per person if you are not running.  We don’t charge but hope you would come with a giving heart.  These donations help up to continue to post all pictures and video from the event at no cost for spectators and participants to share.  Please show up minimum 30 minutes ahead, longer if you still have to register or show up really early and be part of our opening ceremony.  When your wave is called head to the starting line and get ready for some fun.  After completing the course you can jump in the lake to rinse off or hose down at our clean up station.  There is no private changing area; there is a bag check if you brought clean clothes.  This year we are proud to partner with US Again so instead of throwing out 100s of dirty shoes left behind we will be recycling shoes left behind.  Participants and spectators can bring clothing, bedding and shoes to be recycled to areas in need.

-_250-LQ: Is there any event swag for participation?
A: We have fantastic swag bags loaded up with great giveaways from our sponsors.

Q: Who are your sponsors and how do they help support the event?
A: Ours sponsors are the backbone of our event.  Each year they are listed on our website and we encourage our participants to reach out to them.  These businesses are asked each day by some event or person to give, we are fortunate that they have chosen our organization to partner with.  Each sponsor chooses what level they can participate at anywhere from $50-$2500 (not that we are limiting a bigger check…lol) Some of our sponsors, sponsor in-kind by providing us their services in exchange for the sponsorship.  We are work hard to acknowledge our sponsors throughout our event and throughout the year.

Q: Please tell us a little about the founders of the Assault Challenge Foundation.
A:  The founders of ACF are the Lopez family, Henry, Julie and Greyson as well as the many volunteers who helped us get this off the ground.  I like to think of everyone who helped in the beginning years as our Founders.  I was born and raised in Elkhorn and those who know me know I have been raising money for a cause since I was 5 years old collecting door to door with a Nestles can so I could attend the UNICEF party at the church.  When I started my family I wanted to instill in them the importance of giving back and helping others.  The next time your life seems to being overwhelming you I challenge you to go out and do a random act of kindness and watch how your attitude changes.  This is what I have hopeful taught my kids not just by talk but through action.  It seems a life time ago since my innocent start with my Nestles can.  I have helped raise millions of dollars across the country for other organizations.  The Assault Challenge Foundation is our own grassroots opportunity to give back to others and our community.  We get to see what our hard works is for first hand, each day. I’m proud of all we are accomplishing as the song goes,”With a little help from my friends”.

Q: What do you think is the single most important reason people should participate and support the Assault Challenge Foundation?
A: We make a difference in people’s lives.  I hear so many stories throughout the year from our participants.  The first year we had an overwhelming response and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to keep up with the workload this event presents.  I packed up after the event, unloaded, put away everything I’m sure anyone who has run an event can identify with this.  Exhausted I crawled into bed, the phone rang at 7:00am the next morning and it was a woman who had brought her son to our event.  You see her son and his father had been in a car accident and the father passed away shortly after.  The boy hadn’t really talked much since it happened nearly a year ago.  He really wanted to try our event, he came with is Mom and I found a team he could run with.  He did a great job!  The next morning he woke up and ran into his Mom’s room to tell her how excited he was about on event and he has run every year since with his friends.  You see she called that morning to thank us for what we had done.  We had given her, her son back.  The members of the Board of our Foundation work tirelessly to make sure each year our event is safe, fun and full of families coming to make memories and help make a difference in each other’s lives.

Q: Where can we learn more about the Assault Challenge Foundation?
A: We will be launching our website hopefully at our event, May 15th with more information about our Foundation, as well as resources for those dealing with cancer.  We are happy to partner with Matthew Olsen, President of Signalfire and his amazing staff who work with us to get our websites and all of our marketing needs handled.  I will be happy to update you with the website URL when it is ready to go live.  You are always welcomed to contact Julie Lopez, President at cac@tds.net or at 262-742-4372.

Q: Where can we register to participate in the event?
A:  You can register online through our website at www.cancerassaultchallenge.org or download a registration form and mail it in with your fee.

Now that you’re pumped and excited to challenge yourself, have FUN and help a worthy cause, head on over to their website and download that registration form!

Learn more about the many exciting events happening throughout Walworth County by visiting www.VisitWalworthCounty.com.

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