Cruisin’ for a Cure Collects $48,000 for David’s Cancer Foundation

May 09, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

When the community rallies around a cause, amazing things happen – to the tune of almost $50,000. That’s how much was raised for David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation this past weekend to help families facing a cancer diagnosis.

Sunday’s sixth annual Frank V. Panzone Memorial Cruisin’ for a Cure motorcycle and classic car ride began at the Manahawkin Moose Lodge, proceeded down East Bay Avenue to Mill Creek Road, out to Route 72, east to Long Beach Boulevard, up to Barnegat Light and back to the after party at Joe Pop’s Shore Bar and Restaurant in Ship Bottom.

It was a shortened route due to the threat of rain, and a somewhat diminished attendance – local business owner and Harley rider Mark Reynolds, regular ride participant and longtime supporter of David’s, estimated 25 or 30 bikes and a dozen or so cars – but he was willing to brave the cold for the grassroots effort that “helps a lot of people.”

First-time Cruisin’ participant, Ryan St. Andrew of North Beach Haven, had ridden his 2009 Harley V-Rod and didn’t mind the weather – better to be a little too chilly than too hot, he said. His wife, Melinda, agreed, saying it was a pleasure to support “such a good organization.”

The scene at Joe Pop’s was festive as Ted Hammock and Jason Booth entertained the riders and supporters who milled around with food (from Panzone’s, Lefty’s Tavern, Sunny Rae’s Kitchen, The Woo Hoo and Moester’s Bakery) and beverages and placed bids on auction items while the little kids with painted faces ran around on the dance floor or played in the Party Crashers gaming trailer.

Jillian Elsasser (nee Panzone), whose father, Frank Panzone, died from esophageal cancer in 2012, gave some welcoming remarks and announced the totals of the organization’s impact. As of March 31 this year, David’s has helped 1,053 families with direct financial grants amounting to $825,000. She thanked the sponsors, vendors, and half a dozen police departments that assisted the ride, and acknowledged her fellow members of the organizing committee: Kristin Panzone-Moritz, Dani Corso, Steve Crisalli and foundation namesake David Calderella.

When Calderella took the stage, he gave an emotional presentation of the Beacon of Hope Award to the Panzone family. All year long, they are actively participating in the foundation’s mission, volunteering their time, delivering meals to families in need or otherwise donating to the cause. The award recognizes an individual or business that has been “instrumental in filling hearts with hope and shining a light in the darkness of cancer.”  —V.F.

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)
(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)
(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)
(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)
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