Ron LaQuaglia, president of Revere Little League, will be participating in his 21st consecutive Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, September 12.
LaQuaglia dedicates his annual effort in memory of his daughter, Stacey, who passed away on April 20, 2005, at the age of 30. Miss LaQuaglia received treatment for her condition at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital.
“When I started this endeavor, I did it for Stacey and I’ve continued over the last five years doing the Jimmy Fund Walk,” said LaQuaglia, who has raised $50,000 for the cause.
LaQuaglia, who has previously walked the full marathon (26.2 miles) route, will begin his trek at Babson College in Wellesley and walk 13.2 miles to the finish line in Copley Square in Boston.
The 65-year-old retired North Quincy High School teacher has been getting ready for the event by walking daily in the city. “I’ll walk one mile, two miles, or five miles on Revere Beach and in neighborhoods,” said LaQuaglia. “I even walk up the hill on Park Avenue, make a loop around Fenno Street and come back. You can’t just show up on Sept. 12 and expect to be able to walk 13 miles.”
LaQuaglia’s wife, Jean, daughter, Annmarie, son-in-law, John, and three grandchildren, Stella, 7, Johnny, 5, and Lydia, 2, will be waiting for him at the finish line. Other relatives will also be participating in the race.
A graduate of Immaculate Conception and Pope John High School, Stacy LaQuaglia was universally admired in the community, especially by coaches, parents, and players affiliated with Revere Little League. Despite her health problems, she served as a coordinator of the concession stand during Little League games at McMackin Field. Miss LaQuaglia was also a member of the board of directors.
“Revere Little League meant a lot to her and I think that’s why I’m still involved in the organization,” said Ron LaQuaglia, who has been president for the past 15 years.
On Sunday morning, Ron LaQuaglia will put on his walking shoes and honor the life of his daughter while helping further advance the cause of cancer research.
“It’s something I do for Stacy’s memory, but it’s something that I believe in, and that’s why I’ve done it for 21 years – I just believe in the cause and I believe that no family should have to go through what we went through,” said LaQuaglia. “Stacy was sick from the age of eight and it was 21 years before she passed away. It was a long struggle and a difficult one.”
(People wishing to donate to Ron LaQuaglia’s efforts in the Jimmy Fund Walk may visit www.jimmyfundwalk.org and follow the directions to the Ron LaQuaglia Website).