THS grad Cody Scholz to run Wausau Marathon in fundraising effort for Gold Star Families

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

WAUSAU – A Tomahawk High School graduate is training to run in an area marathon in an effort to raise funds for families who have lost a family member in active duty military service.

Cody Scholz, who is currently studying Civil Engineering at Michigan Technological University, is a member of Air Force ROTC, which allows students to take part in three- or four-year programs that offer a mix of normal college courses and the Air Force ROTC curriculum, covering everything from leadership studies to combat technique. Upon completion of a program, a student enters the U.S. Air Force as an officer.


Scholz is also a part of the Arnold Air Society, a professional, honorary service organization that advocates for the support of aerospace power. The organization is comprised of cadets throughout the U.S. Air Force officer candidate training programs, including ROTC throughout university-level institutions, and the Air Force Academy.

On a GoFundMe page dedicated to his fundraising efforts, Scholz explained that through the two organizations, the U.S. military has “become integrated with my daily life as I am constantly pushed to grow as a person and a leader in preparation for becoming an officer in the United States Air Force.”

“One of the core values of the Air Force is ‘Service Before Self,’ and it is my goal to demonstrate this core value by supporting Gold Star Families,” Scholz stated.

Scholz said a Gold Star Family is a “designation no one aspires to be.”

“A Gold Star Family has experienced the loss of an immediate family member who died in active duty military service,” he explained. “The title honors a service member’s selfless sacrifice while acknowledging their family’s grief and continued healing. Homes of Gold Star Families can be recognized by a Gold Star Service Flag, which includes a gold star for each family member who died in the line of duty. A Gold Star Lapel Pin can also be worn, which features a star on a purple circular background.”

Scholz noted that although their loss “can never be filled, Gold Star Families deserve to be honored for the sacrifice of their loved ones.”

“The best way to honor Gold Star Families is to raise awareness and educate friends and family,” he stated.

Scholz said he ultimately chose to raise funds for Gold Star Families because he did not know what they were prior to being in Air Force ROTC, and after talking to family and friends, they were also unsure.

“This made me realize that many people in my community and surrounding area may also be unaware of Gold Star Families, their sacrifice and the support they need,” Scholz stated.

In response to this, Scholz decided to make an effort to educate those in his community about Gold Star Families and raise money for those families while training for and running the Wausau Marathon, slated for Saturday, Aug. 19.

The roughly 26-mile race will be Scholz’s first marathon.

Scholz noted that he had previously never run more than three miles at one time, but since Memorial Day, he’s been training weekly using a carefully-crafted plan.

“I chose the challenge of running a marathon to not only test and build my resilience, but to remember those who paid the ultimate price for freedom and showcase the resiliency of the families they left behind,” he said.

Scholz has set a fundraising goal of $5,000.00.

“All support given is appreciated and makes a difference, no matter the size of the gift,” Scholz stated.

To contribute to Scholz’s efforts, visit his GoFundMe page at

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