2019 Beacon of Hope Award Recipients: Informed Mortgage

“In recognition of an outstanding individual or business instrumental in filling hearts with HOPE and shining a LIGHT in the darkness of cancer” we are honored to announce Informed Mortgage as the recipient of the 2019 Beacon Of Hope Award!

We must thank the entire staff at Informed Mortgage for their personal investment in David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation. In 2015, Informed Mortgage made a long-term commitment to bring HOPE to our patients and their families affected by a cancer diagnosis with the promise of $25 per closed loan in 2015. This creative giving initiative was the first of our Mission Of Hope Giving Partnerships, and has acted as a lifeline for hundreds of families in desperate need of assistance. We are eternally grateful for their trust, friendship & support as we continue to fulfill our mission.

2018 Beacon of Hope Award Recipients: Joyce Panzone, Kristin Moritz & Jillian Elsasser


We are thrilled to recognize Kristin Moritz, Joyce Panzone & Jillian Elsasser (pictured to the left) with the 2018 David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation’s (DDBCF) Beacon of Hope Award!

“In recognition of an outstanding individual or business instrumental in filling hearts with HOPE and shining a LIGHT in the darkness of cancer.”

Our 6th Annual Frank V. Panzone Jr. Memorial Cruisin for a Cure event held this past Sunday was another tremendous success. The day is always special regardless of the weather, and this year’s event included a surprise announcement that no rain or clouds would dampen.

Earlier this year, a unanimous “secret” vote by (all but one) DDBCF Board members moved forward the decision to honor long-time DDBCF supporters Kristin Moritz, Joyce Panzone and Jillian Elsasser from Panzone’s Pizza in Surf City and Panzone’s Pizza & Pasta in Beach Haven, NJ. The decision to honor these 3 amazing women was easy but keeping it a secret from Vice President of DDBCF, Kristin Moritz and DDBCF Advisory Board Member, Jillian Elsasser was the difficult part.

You would be hard pressed to find an event on the busy DDBCF calendar that does not include substantial support from these women, their family members and their respective businesses. Their consistent participation is unmatched and includes generous financial sponsorships, auction items, donated food, graphic design, event management and countless hours of service as a member of the DDBCF Board of Directors (Kristin) and member of the DDBCF Advisory Board (Jillian).

Beyond the highly visible event and volunteer support, what almost no one sees are the numerous meals delivered to families of DDBCF battling a cancer diagnosis or the donated catered food for holiday parties that benefit cancer patients in the middle of their treatment plans. In fact, the first ever DDBCF fundraiser which took place at the Ship Bottom Firehouse in December 2010 after the Ship Bottom Christmas Parade was catered for free by the Panzone Family and Panzone’s Pizza!

Our DDBCF Family is a blessing to so many including our patients and their families as well as all of us internally here at DDBCF and Kristin, Joyce and Jillian represent the very best of humanity. We also want to thank and extend our sincere appreciation to Kristin’s husband John, their son Johnny, Jillian’s husband Todd and their son Cole!

6th Annual Frank V. Panzone Jr. Memorial Cruisin for a Cure Wrap-Up

On behalf of the DDBCF Board of Directors; I would like to thank our sponsors, riders, party guests, volunteers, businesses and individuals who donated food and activities for helping to make the 6th Annual Frank V. Panzone Jr. Memorial Cruisin for a Cure our most successful Cruisin to date. Thanks to your “Generosity of Spirit,” we were able to raise more than $48,000 for families battling a cancer diagnosis. The image below includes every individual and business that donated to this event in some capacity – thank you ALL. It is because of your generous support, that DDBCF has been able to help 1,053 Families with over $825,000.00 in direct patient financial aid (January 2011 – March 31, 2018).

Kristin, Joyce, Jillian and their family members are living tributes to their patriarch Frank V. Panzone Jr. They celebrate and honor Frank’s life every day, and all of us at DDBCF are humbled by the fact that they have chosen to partner with us on our mission to serve as Beacons of Hope for families battling a cancer diagnosis. Congratulations ladies and THANK YOU!

David Caldarella
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Image: Kristin Moritz

2017 Beacon of Hope Award Recipient: Dr. David M. Cognetti



David M. Cognetti, MD, FACS
Associate Professor and Co-Director, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center of Thomas Jefferson University

In recognition of an outstanding individual or agency instrumental in filling hearts with HOPE and shining a LIGHT in the darkness of cancer. We are proud and honored to recognize Dr. David M. Cognetti of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia with our “BEACON OF HOPE AWARD!

Dr. Cognetti was born and raised in Scranton, Pa (where all roads meet.)  He is the second tallest of nine children.  He and his siblings spent their childhood rooting against the Philadelphia Eagles and vacationing down the shore in Ocean City, NJ.  He currently serves as the Co-director of the Jefferson Center for Head and Neck Surgery.  At Jefferson, he initiated (with the help of dedicated colleagues and tremendous nursing teams) programs in Transoral Robotic Surgery as well as Sialendoscopy, both of which are innovative technologies that eliminate the need for radical open surgery. Both programs were one of the earliest of their kind in the United States and are currently among the busiest in the country.

Dr. Cognetti received his BS in Biology from Georgetown University, where he made an unsuccessful walk-on bid for the men’s basketball team.  He received his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where his future wife scored higher than him on all medical school exams and achieved a contested victory over him in a 10k race.  He completed a residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University before completing a fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  Dr. Cognetti returned to Jefferson, his professional home, as faculty in 2008.

Dr. Cognetti has served many leadership roles at the institutional, regional, and national levels.  He completed the Jefferson Leadership Academy and currently serves as the chair of the Operating Room Committee at Jefferson. He serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.  He is the chair of the Head and Neck Surgery Education Committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the co-chair of the History Committee of the Endocrine Surgery Section of the American Head and Neck Society.  He also serves on the Head and Neck Steering Committee Rare Tumors Task Force for the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.  He has received a Castle Connolly Top Doc Award for the past three years.  Above all, he is tirelessly committed to the care of patients, in Philadelphia, Haiti, and beyond, and he is constantly looking at ways to improve systems and outcomes.   He currently resides in Penn Valley, PA with his supportive wife, Missy, and their three strong and independent daughters, Julia, Claire, and Sophia.