4th Annual Island Gala Wrap-Up | Hope Under The Stars

Susie, Dawn, Bill, Lauren & Tina
Susie, Dawn, Bill, Lauren & Tina

THANK YOU – 4th Annual Island Gala Wrap-Up! 

We held our 4th Annual Island Gala “Hope Under the Stars” on Friday August 5th at the Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club. It was a beautiful night filled with HOPE Under the Stars!

The most critical information about David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation (DDBCF) was conveyed to the crowd by Co-Founder, David Caldarella during the opening ceremony. 634 Families battling cancer have been supported by DDBCF over the past 5.5 years. 312 families in the first 4 years of existence and 322 in the past 1.5 years. A group of friends set out to assist 1-2 patients affected by a cancer diagnosis per year. DDBCF is currently on pace to offer solely financial assistance to a patient/family every 1.46 days in 2016 and if you add in the emotional support and hope – that number rapidly drops to 1 patient/family per day! Truly an incredible milestone for the DDBCF Family and the supporters that make this “Generosity of Spirit” possible throughout the year! THANK YOU!

The highlight of the evening was hearing from Co-Founder of David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation (DDBCF); Tim Hall, Co-Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; Dr. David Cognetti and 3 of the new Directors Patient of Advocacy for David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation: Dawn Aversa, Susie Buzby and Tina Angers. Tim spoke about the origin of DDBCF and in particular a story of Hope when his friend of 40 years David Caldarella was at his darkest point during his battle with stage IV head and neck cancer and one of his best friends Carmen Malatino created a CD of recorded voicemail’s from family, friends and Dr. David Cognetti encouraging David to Dream & Believe. Dr. Cognetti talked about his personal relationship with his patient David Caldarella and his recollection of the early stages of DDBCF all the way through today. Dawn, Susie and Tina spoke about their personal experiences with cancer as a caregiver in Dawn’s case and survivor’s in Susie and Tina’s and the positive impact DDBCF has had in their lives.

We want to start by thanking our partner and Platinum sponsors for the 4th Annual Island Gala: Informed Mortgage. Everybody in attendance heard David explain the planned giving initiative created by Informed Mortgage in collaboration with Dani Corso from Volatile Media Management and Communications Director for DDBCF. Informed Mortgage donates $25.00 per every closed loan out of their Manahawkin office to DDBCF. This partnership has resulted in planned giving donations of $27,500.00 to DDBCF from the Informed Mortgage team in Manahawkin, NJ. Please give them a call today for any of your mortgage or refi needs especially with all-time low interest rates!

Thank you to the Reynolds Family and Reynolds Garden Shop, Nursery, Floral Market and Landscaping for their continued support of DDBCF and their Gold Sponsorship of the 4th Annual Island Gala. The absolutely breathtaking “VIP” floral arrangements and stunning landscapes surrounding the “Hope Tiki Garden” were simply Amazing!

A special thank you to Tom Hughes, Jaimee Boyle and Brittany Solon from the Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club. This incredible family and their staff continue to care for this event as if it were an event for a family member and we cannot thank them enough.

The artwork and graphics for the event including flyers, posters and invites were all beautifully done by Dawn and Peter from Swing Graphics. We want to thank Typestries and Copyrite for all of our printing needs. Thank you to LeAnna Gerety from LeAnna Theresa Photography and Tony Coon from Darn Swell Media for the photography and video.

Thank you to our our auction donors who consistently support DDBCF: Ann Coen Photography, Black-eyed Susan’s, Mario’s Italian Market, Brighton Beach Surf Shop, Martinelli Family, Mario Dicesare, Beirne Family, Shore Brake Cyclery, It’s a Good Life Gift Boutique, Tierno Family, Tula the Boutique, Reynolds Family, Panzone’s Pizza & Pasta, Crisalli Family, Dawn Simon, Bunkerfish Design, The Wandering Gypsea, Project Erin, The Makers Festival, Jetty, SwellColors Glass Studio & Gallery, Oliver Anne Boutique, Living Acupuncture & Healing Arts Center, Biester Family, Jhon Jhon Institute, Simply Hair & Nails, IQ Nails, Unique Embroidery & Designs, Here’s Hough, Bay Magazine, Conforti Family, Brooke Mesanko, Artifacts & Company, Body In Mind Massage Institute, Golf Event Management Company.

Our Board of Directors and volunteers are second to none and this event puts their selfless giving for our families battling cancer on center stage. Their generosity of spirit for the families of DDBCF battling a cancer diagnosis goes far beyond, “Paying it Forward” and for that we love them!

Thank you to our guests and sponsors. You are “Vehicles of Hope” to so many!

Platinum Sponsors:
Informed Mortgage & Bill & Kirsten Jordan

Gold Sponsors:
Reynolds Landscaping, D. Finelli Construction & Southern Ocean Medical Center

Silver Sponsors:
Thomas V. Massa DMD & Associates, Paul Jr. Designs, Ocean First Bank/Ocean First Foundation & Dan & Karen Raugh

Bronze Sponsors:
Panzone’s Pizza, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Lou’s Electric, Anderson Insurance Agency, G. Anderson Agency, Walt McCollum Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, SOMC Foundation, The Van Dyk Group, Lumby Family, Bruce & Beth Fisher, Invisalign, Perry & Barbara Kaplan, Phillip & Christine Kaputa, John & Dee Vanderslice, Brandon Systems, Zelus Consulting Group & Rue Insurance.

Mark your calendars now for the 5th Annual Island Gala on Friday August 4th 2017! 

Crabbin for a Cure Wrap-Up!

Crabbin for a Cure


The weather outside may have been frightful but the positive vibes and energy inside Mud City Crab House on Wednesday night were electric for our 4th Annual Crabbin for a Cure to benefit David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation.

We need to start with our hosts, owners and friends of Mud City Crab House: Melanie & Eric Magaziner and Ginna, Brianna & Bob Nugent. Our friendship with this crew started almost 25 years ago and was reignited during the 2011 Jetty Coquina Jam. They have been faithful supporters of the Foundation since day one and are responsible for our second longest running event with Crabbin for a Cure. Melanie Magaziner is going on her 3rd year as Vice President of David’s Dream & Believe and we appreciate the combined efforts from Melanie and Eric. Simply put, we would not have been able to assist the amount of families we have in the past 3.5 years without their support and friendship.

The Staff at Mud City Crab House is FAMILY! There are many reasons for the long waits to eat at this local landmark since the Magaziner and Nugent families opened the doors. However, we believe the amazing staff is tied at the top of that list with the incredible food. This amazing staff has volunteered their time and donated their tips back to the Foundation every year!

Our 4th Annual Crabbin for a Cure did not have an auction this year and there was a very good reason for that. Crabbin for a Cure has been a locals event since year one. It allows for local business owners and families to join together for a relaxing dinner with amazing friends after a long and very busy summer.  We value and appreciate the continued efforts throughout the year from those same local businesses and local families that allow us to carry out the mission of the Foundation. We want our supporters to know you mean the world to us!

Crabbin for Cure was created during a lunch meeting between Melanie, Eric, David and Jeremy from Jetty. We want to thank all of our sponsors starting with our longest local sponsor Jetty. Thank you: Jackie & Bill McCabe, Ocean Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Wellness Center, Sally’s Shrimp & Seafood, Panzone’s Pizza, Reynolds Landscaping, Anderson Insurance Agency, Thomas V Massa DMD & Associates, Walt McCollum Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Price Home Group, Art Puzziferro Builder, The Ruemeli Family, Ann Coen Photography, Speakeasy Pizzeria, Tuckerton Lumber Co. and Potts Excavating!

A special thank you to Kerry Beetel and his students from Piece of the Puzzle for making and donating the yummy homemade ice cream for dessert!

See you next year!