Revere native Ron LaQuaglia made his first appearance in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk 26 years ago.
LaQuaglia, the past president of Revere Little League for 16 years and a member of the league for 36 years, decided to volunteer his efforts for the charity when his daughter, Stacey, became ill with leukemia.
Stacey passed away in April, 2005, at the age of 30 after a gallant fight against the disease. Stacey had been battling the disease since the age of nine.
LaQuaglia dedicated his effort in her memory, raising thousands of dollars in the past 25 years.
“I believe Stacey would be very proud of me for continuing on the Walk in her memory,” said LaQuaglia, a former schoolteacher who currently works an usher at Fenway Park, a position he has held for 14 years.
The 70-year-old Revere resident has been training four times a week for the 13.1-mile walk from Wellesley to Copley Square in Boston.
“I’ve been walking around the track in new Harry Della Russo Stadium and in the neighborhoods,” said LaQuaglia. “The stadium was a long time overdue and it’s beautiful. Revere kids should be proud to play there. As a kid, I played baseball at the stadium (Paul Revere Stadium). The diamond was just behind the west end zone.”
LaQuaglia played baseball for the Revere High team under the direction of head coach John Capone. His son, Ronnie LaQuaglia, played baseball at RHS under coach Al Blasi.
LaQuaglia’s association with Revere Little League began as an umpire of Major League games at McMackin Park. He became a manager of the Indians team before becoming a board member and ultimately league president in 1995.
But his athletic focus today is on the annual Walk that benefits the Jimmy Fund and children with cancer.
“I have started fundraising and the people have responded generously,” said LaQuaglia. “My goal each year is to raise $2,000.”
People wishing to support Ron LaQuaglia’s participation can visit the Web site JimmyFundWalk.org and type in the name Ronald LaQuaglia’s name and make a donation. The deadline for donations is Oct. 31, 2015.
“I just want to thank people for all their help and support and I pledge to continue my commitment to raising money for children with cancer,” said LaQuaglia. “I especially want to thank my wife, Jean, my daughter, Annmarie, and my son, Ronnie, for being behind me all these years.”