Two Thousand Patients


In 2010, a small group of dedicated and compassionate friends joined together to create a vehicle for giving to pay forward the same kindness, generosity of spirit and love that I received during my own battle with stage IV head and neck cancer. David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation was born and set out to provide support to 1-2 patients per year.

Yesterday, we reached yet another bittersweet milestone. We provided support to our Two Thousandth Patient with direct financial aid of nearly $1.9 Million Dollars! The numbers are staggering but we recognize there is an amazing patient with a story behind every number.

Landmark milestones such as reaching our TWO Thousand Patient are a time to celebrate, but also a time to renew our commitment to the David’s Dream & Believe mission of HOPE for patients and their families affected by this deadly disease. That is where you come in. Despite having reached a nearly $1.9 million dollar milestone of giving, we are seeing a continued avalanche of patient requests and your ongoing participation is as crucial now as it was when our journey began 10 years ago. We ask you to consider helping David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation as a financial donor, dedicated sponsor, or Mission of Hope Giving Partner in 2021.

Please contact Co-Founder: David Caldarella or Vice Chair of Community Affairs: Danielle Corso to learn more:

David Caldarella




6th Annual Stafford Run for Hope Wrap-Up

Drew, Domenick & Landon

The 6th Annual Stafford Run for Hope presented by D Finelli Construction and Lou’s Electric to benefit David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation took place on Saturday June 17th. We had 227 athletes converge on Manahawkin Lake Park early Saturday morning under overcast skies and temps around 80’. Race Director Ross Reynolds created this event 6 years ago. Ross reached out to his friend and former Ship Bottom Lifeguard teammate, David Caldarella a couple years ago to see if the two could partner on this event to benefit local families battling a cancer diagnosis. Ross and his wife Marissa do an amazing job every year with the event and Survival of the Mills which will take place on a new date this year, Sunday September 24, 2017. Thank you, Ross and Marissa.

A special thank you to the Stafford Police Department and Officer Chris Fritz for all your support.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, Lou’s Electric and D Finelli Construction. Lou Manganiello from Lou’s Electric and Dave Finelli from D Finelli Construction and their teams support our mission of HOPE for families battling a cancer diagnosis throughout the year. The two companies were recognized earlier this year as our newest community partners. Thank you to Lou, Dave and your teams.

A huge thank you to our new friends at Manafirkin Brewing Company for hosting our after-party and award ceremony for the 6th Annual Stafford Run for Hope. If you have not been to Manafirkin yet – do yourself a favor and get there! Thank you to Bagels & Beyond and Fusaro’s Pizza & Pasta for donating all the food for this year’s event.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers. We say it time and time again but we really do have the best volunteers in the world. It takes a tremendous number of volunteers to staff an event like the 6th Annual Stafford Run for Hope. Thank you for giving of your time to “Pay it Forward” for others.

We have amazing volunteers but we would not have an event without our athletes. 227 athletes were ready to swim, bike and/or run to test their own physical endurance Saturday morning while understanding that many in our community are fighting for their lives every single day. We recognize our athletes “fight” and appreciate their support!

We want to thank our youth group Generation Dream families and kids for fundraising and supporting this event. We also had several of our Generation Dream families volunteering along the race route at various water stations. A special thanks to Kim Manzella and Steve Crisalli.

Thank you to our graphic artists and friends at Swing Graphics for all the design and marketing materials for this event. Dawn and Pete are also responsible for our newest event in 2016, Shave the Date which will take place on Friday November 24, 2017. Thank you to our friends and community partners at Jetty for printing this year’s event shirts and a special thanks to Brad Bargiel for always working under stressful time constraints but always delivering for the Dream Team. Thank you to Charlie Kulp from Shore Brake Cyclery for all your support on this event and throughout the year.

Thank you to DQ Events, Surf City Lifeguards, LBI TriClub, Stafford Township Recreation Department and Ocean County Parks & Recreation.

Grant Writer – Independent Contractor

Grant Writer

Grant Writer – Independent Contractor

David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation – Manahawkin, NJ 


David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation exists as a Beacon of Hope to families affected by a cancer diagnosis.  We provide financial assistance and wellness services that help patients and their families deal with the complex challenges of a cancer diagnosis. We are looking for a seasoned Grant Writer to partner with us in pursuit of funding that will advance our mission and enable us to meet the increasing demand for our services.  The Grant Writer will focus efforts on research of and proposal writing for grants available through public, private and corporate funding sources.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Responsible for conducting the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to foundation and corporate sources.
  2. Perform prospect research on foundations and corporations to evaluate prospects for corporate and foundation grants.
  3. Work with Treasurer and Accountant to gather information necessary to report to corporate/foundation funders on current grant programs.
  4. Comply with all grant reporting as required by foundation/corporate donors.
  5. Provide stewardship to current donors to provide regular updates to corporate and foundation donors.
  6. Make appointments for Executive Director with foundation officers and other prospects.
  7. Maintain current records in database and in paper files, including grant tracking and reporting.
  8. Assist with other fundraising projects as requested

Knowledge and Skills:

  1. Strong written communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive proposals.
  2. Strong editing skills.
  3. Attention to detail.
  4. Ability to meet deadlines.
  5. Knowledge of fundraising information sources.
  6. Experience with proposal writing and institutional donors.
  7. Knowledge of basic fundraising techniques and strategies.
  8. Knowledge and familiarity with research techniques for fundraising prospect research.
  9. Strong contributor in team environments


  1. Minimum of three years’ experience with grant writing.
  2. Previous experience with non-profit fundraising.
  3. Experience working in deadline-driven environments.
  4. Able to work well in a team environment, handle multiple assignments and meet deadlines.
  5. Able to monitor and meet income goals.

Please email resume and expression of interest to

2016 Major Milestones

2016 Major Milestones

2016 Major Milestones:

  1. DDBCF provided direct financial assistance to 244 families, while countless more received emotional support, services and hope.
  2. A record-breaking $215,457.97 in ​Direct ​Financial Grants​ were distributed.
  3. DDBCF established a new Directors of Patient Advocacy Board, consisting of: patients, caregivers and medical personnel.
  4. ​Two new and highly successful DDBCF fundraising events were established in 2016:
    a) The ​Inaugural Frank ​A. Cosimano Memorial ​Golf Classic presented by: Bergen Risk Managers ​and
    b) Shave the Date presented by: Swing Graphics
  5. The incredibly generous team from Informed Mortgage’s planned giving initiative set an all-time DDBCF record for Giving with an astounding $24,375.00 donated in the year 2016!
  6. DDBCF welcomed 2 returning members back to the Board of Directors; Carmen Malatino and Kelly Powers; while three new Board Members Jason Cosimano, Steve Crisalli and former Director of Patient Advocacy Bill Raney were invited to serve as well. ​Office space for the Foundation was secured at 364 North Main Street, Suite 10D in Manahawkin, NJ.
  7. ​Director of Patient Advocacy; Lauren M. Raney (7/28/1977-12/16/2016) was appointed by the Board of Directors as our Inaugural Trustee Emeritus.

2011 – 2016: 763 Families battling a cancer diagnosis have received $621,813.06 in Financial Grants! 

All of us at David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation want to thank our patients and their families for inspiring us each and every day. It was an extremely difficult end to 2016 with the passing of so many loved ones and friends of DDBCF including: Mallory, Anthony, Virginia, Melissa, Michael, Phyllis, Layard, Alice, Patricia and Lauren. Our thoughts, prayers and love remain with all of these families. In the midst of her own battle with cancer, Lauren Raney proudly served as an original member of our Directors of Patient Advocacy Board in hopes that she could offer support to other patients battling this deadly disease. What Lauren may not have realized before her passing on December 16th is that she not only offered our current patients support and hope but lifted the spirits of any and every person that was blessed to have crossed paths with her.. On December 20th 2016, the DDBCF Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Lauren M. Raney as our first ever Trustee Emeritus. Lauren will be forever honored for her service as a Director of Patient Advocacy while all of us trust that she will eternally watch over and guide us on this journey.

Thank you to our Executive Partners at Informed Mortgage. Informed Mortgage’s planned giving initiative has set a high standard for charitable giving thanks to the efforts of Stephen, Christopher, Michael, Informed Mortgage Staff and all their customers.

Thank you to our community partners, sponsors, auction donors and volunteers!

Thank you to the parents and kids from our youth group, Generation Dream. This motivated, talented and compassionate group of kids are determined to make a positive impact in the lives of our patients and their families.

Thank you to students from our Southern Regional High School group led by teachers Ms. Rebecca Posch and Mrs Jody McLennan.

Thank you to our community partners, Dawn and Pete from Swing Graphics and Ryan Johnson from Ryan Johnson Photography for their help with photo, images and multiple revisions to content.

A special thank you to our Board of Directors (Steve Crisalli, Dani Corso, Kristin Panzone, Bill Raney, Kelly Powers, Jason Cosimano, Tim Hall) who serve the mission of the Foundation on a 100% volunteer basis!

Please take a minute to look back on 2016 with us in the attached summary of accomplishments. Please know that if you attended one of our events, donated an auction item, sponsored an event, volunteered or made an individual donation – YOU are responsible for providing HOPE to a family diagnosed with cancer that desperately needs our help. THANK YOU! Our Mantra for 2017 is: #WeWill

David Caldarella, Stage IV cancer Survivor

2016 Major Milestones

Island Gala Wrap-Up | Thank You | David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation

Thank You!
Thank You!


We held our 3rd Annual Island Gala “A Night on the Boardwalk” on Friday August 14th and it proved to be our most successful fundraiser to date with a NET of $94,577.43! Our Mega 50/50 Raffle Winners were Angela Monafo and Taryn Parascand (Congratulations!) but there’s no doubt that the real winners of the night were our patients and families affected by a cancer diagnosis! Thank you.

We do need to thank a few people that were instrumental in making our 3rd Annual Island Gala possible. That starts with our executive committee in charge of planning and sponsoring various aspects of this year’s event. The Reynolds Family, Reynolds Landscaping & Garden Shop, Steber Family, McCabe Family, Catherine Deely and Board of Director Members Kim Manzella & Dani Corso. This group started its’ planning/management efforts in January 2015 and continued right up until the last item was packed up around 2:00am Saturday morning! It takes a monumental effort from a dedicated team to pull off an event like this one and this group was simply amazing!

Our Host Venue for the 3rd year in a row was our friends at the Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club! Tom Hughes, Jaimee Boyle and Brittany Solon treat the entire planning process, meetings and night of the event as if it was a special party for a family member and for that we are eternally grateful.  The resort is absolutely beautiful and the incredible staff make all of our guests feel like VIP’s!

Our sponsors play a critical role in the overall success of the Foundation being able to answer the increased number of patient requests. Thank you to our Cyclone $5,000.00 Sponsors: Reynolds Landscaping, Steber Family, McCabe Family, Informed Mortgage and Allied World Assurance Company. Reynolds Landscaping and the Steber family were also responsible for sponsoring this year’s amazing band Monte Carlo from Philadelphia. Thank you to our Himalayan $2,500.00 Sponsor: D. Finelli Construction and Congratulations to Dave and Laurie on the birth of their baby girl Lyla Marie. Thank you to our Carousel $1,000.00 Sponsors: Anderson Insurance Agency, G. Anderson Agency, Brandon Systems, Cosimano Family, Shannon Keyes DMD and Zelus Consulting Group LLC.

Our Auctions are always top notch thanks to the efforts of Cathy Deely, Kim Manzella, Dani Corso, Sophia Steber, the Reynolds Family (Peg, Katie & Ashley) and our extremely generous local businesses that want to participate in our events. A special thanks to Kyle Baddorf Executive Chef at Garces Trading Co. for not only producing one very successful auction dinner but accepting to do 3 of them!!!

We would not be able to hold our events were it not for the tremendous support from our volunteers throughout the year especially at this Goliath of an event. A special thanks to Tony Coon, Ryan Johnson, John Manzella, Nick Staub, Lisa Anderson and James Donahower.

Our guests (former and new) and everybody listed above demonstrated a genuine commitment to the mission of the Foundation and generosity of spirit that could only be described as inspirational! Our team from DDBCF walked away from this year’s Island Gala knowing that our Beacon of Hope will shine a little brighter for our patients/families affected by a cancer diagnosis thanks to all of you!

Mark your calendars now for the 4th Annual Island Gala on Friday August 5th 2016! 

Patient Testimonial | David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation

The following Patient Testimonial comes from our friend Lee. This is a heartfelt and beautifully written testimonial that describes the struggle of a cancer patient as well as the eventual impact of financial and emotional support offered by David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation. Thank you for sharing Lee!!!


“Dear David and Team,

My heart is filled with joy and appreciation. This week is the first one since July 2014 during which I have not had a medical test, operation, treatment or other medical procedure. I am so grateful to have emerged on the other side of my experience with cancer as well as I have.

From July of last year until this week, my life revolved around regaining my health. Some weeks I had my chemo treatment, others were filled with various tests, two operations, and most recently, I traveled three hours per day, five days a week for six weeks for my radiation treatment. It has been a long and challenging experience, as you know all too well.

Based upon my experience, I would share with anyone who hears those awful words from their doctor, “It’s cancer,” a few insights. First and foremost, everyone’s experience is uniquely their own. If they were interested, I would share that I felt I was punched in the face at least once a week for 10 months. Each week was another hurdle, another challenge, another “new normal.” Also, that “punch” may come in the form of test results, an additional treatment, physical pain, emotional challenges, or financial burdens. However, though I am scarred, poorer, and forever changed, I am also wiser, more appreciative, and grateful. . . very, very grateful.

The financial burden of cancer is one important and often overlooked part of this challenge. Though I have health insurance, the bills are awful. Unfortunately, I met my maximum out-of-pocket expense twice, once in 2014 and again in 2015. It is a lot of money. Though I could keep my head above water at the beginning, as the medical bills kept coming, it seemed like waves of water that kept coming, one after another. Though I’ve never asked for help before in my life, I realized that some relief, any relief, would help. I applied to several organizations for financial help and then waited, with fingers and toes crossed, for some help. Perhaps some organization could provide some help. Perhaps.

I remember the evening that you called me. I was sitting in my room, alone, searching the Internet for any organizations that could help me financially. Maybe some organization could pay one bill? My friends and I have helped raise money for many philanthropies throughout our lives. Now I needed some help. Who would help me when I needed it? When I answered the phone and you introduced yourself, I felt a weight was lifted. You understood my experiences, you understood my concerns. You know what it’s like to tackle, and beat, cancer to then face financial debt, a lot of debt.

Your generous offer to pay one of my bills filled my heart with such appreciation. That was one less obstacle I had to overcome. You made a difference, a tremendous difference. I am forever grateful that you, David and the entire team, work so hard to help me and others like me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

With love, Lee”


Stafford Run For Hope | 5K | David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation

Stafford Run Fore Hope
Stafford Run Fore Hope

Please join us on Saturday June 20th for the Inaugural Stafford Run for Hope 5K presented by Trident Multisport to benefit David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation!

Date: Saturday June 20th
Location: Manahawkin Lake Park, Manahawkin NJ 08050
Start Time: 10:30am

Pre-Race Packet Pick-Up/Registration: Friday June 19th 4-6:30pm. Packet Pick-up will take place in the Pavilion Route 9 side of Manahawkin Lake Park.

***UPDATE*** We have extended our Pre-Registration pricing  ($20.00 + 3.00 sign-up Fee) through June 18th – first 200 runners will receive a Free Event T-Shirt***

Day of Event Registration $30.00: 8:30am – 10:00am


Register online at:

Featured Sponsor | Scojo’s Restaurant | Surf City

Scojo's Restaurant
Scojo’s Restaurant

We are very fortunate and blessed to have forged tremendous partnerships in our community. Our local businesses have rallied around David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation and our families affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Scojo’s Restaurant in Surf City, NJ are one of our main sponsors since 2011 and they continue that tradition year after year. Scott, Joe, Dawn and the Incredible Staff have sponsored various events including: Frank V. Panzone Jr. Memorial Cruisin for a Cure, Crabbin for a Cure and participated in our first ever Dine to Donate last year!

Scojo’s Restaurant recently returned from a brief 2 week hiatus, where they underwent some inside renovations to the restaurant, to unveil a new schedule serving breakfast and lunch only. We are hoping Scott & Joe will find a little time to relax with the new schedule and hope that all of our friends support Scojo’s Restaurant throughout the year!!!

Generation Dream | Pancake Breakfast | TGI Fridays

Generation Dream Pancake Breakfast
Generation Dream Pancake Breakfast

We had an amazing inaugural campaign with our youth service group Generation Dream. Our Dream Team raised a whopping $7, 689.32 for local families affected by a cancer diagnosis. They put the finishing touches on an incredible 2014 by hosting a Holiday Party for the oncology patients at our local Hospital Southern Ocean Medical Center.

They’re excited to kick-off our 2015 event calendar with the Generation Dream Pancake Breakfast on Sunday March 15th from 8:30 – 10:30 at TGI Fridays in Manahawkin. Generation Dream will be assisting the Fridays’ Staff throughout the morning with various jobs including: Hostess, Food Prep and Servers. Admission is $10.00 and includes pancakes, bacon, sausage, coffee and soft drinks. 60% of the proceeds go directly to: David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation!

Our friends at TGI Fridays in Manahawkin, NJ have been proud supporters of the Foundation since 2011.  We are forever grateful for our business partnerships in the community and TGI Fridays in Manahawkin remains a driving force behind the scenes for DDBCF. Please come out and enjoy breakfast with the Dreamers as they raise funds for local families affected by cancer!

Survival of the Mills presented by Ocean Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Wellness Center

Survival of the Mills
Survival of the Mills

It’s always difficult to come up with the words to describe a new event because you cannot just say, “You had to be there.” It feels like we’ve been saying that a lot lately with last weekend’s Sing for Hope and now today’s Survival of the Mills! We try to maintain a healthy balance of diverse events so there is something for everybody while not wearing out our welcome. We are always mindful that your support comes directly from your hard work and we NEVER take that for granted!

Survival of the Mills was created by my friend and our race director Ross Reynolds. Ross and I had a conversation about doing an event together about a year ago when I saw Ross and his wife Marissa having dinner at Mud City Crab House. 12 months of planning and hard work by Ross resulted in an amazing day for the participants. Ross worked so hard on every aspect of this event to ensure it ran smoothly, was challenging and safe for everybody, and the participants all had fun. Mission accomplished! Thank you so much Ross!

However, Ross and I both know that an event like this one does not just happen without the incredible efforts from a Team of Volunteers! Since our inception as a Foundation in 2010, we have maintained that our David’s Dream & Believe volunteers are simply the best and today only confirmed that fact. Not only do we preach to the public that we have the best volunteers but we practice what we preach. President Tim Hall volunteered all weekend helping with set-up and breakdown in between competing and placing 16th overall in the triathlon! Our secretary Kelly Powers competed in the 5K today! Our event Directors and Survival of the Mills Sponsor Kristin Panzone and Jillian Elsasser (Panzone’s Pizza) and communications Director Danielle Corso managed the cycling turnarounds! Our youth Director and Main Event Sponsor Kim Manzella (Ocean Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Wellness Center) and her family managed the water stations! Our Directors serve the Foundation on a completely volunteer basis and their efforts are extraordinary on a daily basis not just event days! Thank you!

Thank you to our youth group Generation Dream families that manned the water stations & managed some of the race logistics for us today! We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to support the Foundation & we love the kids who continue to “Pay it Forward!”

A special thank you to Ross’s wife Marissa for all her efforts supporting today’s event. Thank you to Tommy Craig for assisting Ross with all the race set-up and logistics.  Thank you to our sponsors for their ongoing generosity and to Fusaro’s for the incredible after-race spread which so many participants raved about.  A special thanks to our host, Wells Mill County Park and their staff, who delivered an incredible experience taking us off the beaten path of typical triathlons, duathlons, and 5k races.

Thank you to all the participants for competing today! We heard from cancer survivors participating in the event throughout the day and your courage inspires us!

The end result of a successful race is that our patients will be the ultimate winners! Thank you from all of us at David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation and see you next year!


 “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have!”