STAFFORD - The Sixth 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 17.  227 athletes converged on Manahawkin Lake Park early on Saturday June 17 under overcast skies and temps around 80’.

Ross Reynolds, Race Director started this event six years ago.  Ross reached out to his friend and former Ship Bottom Lifeguard teammate, David Caldarella a few 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," said David Caldarella, David's Dream and Believe founder. "I want to express a big thank to Ross and Marissa.  A special thank you to the Stafford Police Department and Officer Chris Fritz for all your support.

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The Presenting Sponsors for this event were Lou’s Electric and D Finelli Construction. Lou Manganiello from Lou’s Electric and Dave Finelli from D Finelli Construction are significant supporters of the mission to help families battling a cancer diagnosis throughout the year. These two companies were recognized as new community partners with the foundation.  

"A special thank you to Lou, Dave and their teams," Caldarella continued.  "Also a huge thank you to our new friends at Manafirkin Brewing Company for hosting our after-party and award ceremony for the 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."

"Lastly, 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 Sixth Annual Stafford Run for Hope. Thank you for giving of your time to “Pay it Forward” for others."

There were 227 athletes competing by swimming, bicycling and running. The athletes physical endurance were tested and as well as their support knowing that many in our area are fighting for their lives in this battle against cancer. 

The organization also has a youth group, Generation Dream which is made up of kids and their families who do a lot of work all throughout the year to support David's Dream and Believe Foundation.

"Thank you to our graphic artists and friends at Swing Graphics for all the design and marketing materials for this event," continued Dave. "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."

DQ Events, Surf City Lifeguards, LBI TriClub, Stafford Township Recreation Department and Ocean County Parks & Recreation all contributed to the success of the Sixth Annual Stafford Run for Hope.