Continuing his commitment to raising funds for cancer research, Revere resident Ron LaQuaglia will participate in the 30th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, Sept. 23.
LaQuaglia, 73, will walk 13.1 miles from Wellesley to Copley Square in Boston in memory of his daughter, Stacey, who lost a valiant battle to leukemia at the age of 30 on April 20, 2005.
This will be LaQuaglia’s 29th walk, having raised more than $75,000 for the charity.
A retired North Quincy High School teacher and current usher at Fenway Park, LaQuaglia said he is often asked this question: “Your daughter passed away, why are you still participating in the Walk?”
“When I hear that, I can’t even answer them,” said Ron. “If they have to ask that question, they don’t know me. I do it for all the other parents and kids out there that you don’t want to see get sick. If I can contribute, that’s a big thing for me in my life.”
Stacey LaQuaglia attended Immaculate Conception School, Revere, and was a 1993 graduate of Pope John XXIII High School in Everett. During her father Ron’s 16-year reign as president of the Revere Little League, Stacey was a board member and the coordinator of the concession stand at McMackin Park. She was a favorite at the ballpark known as Little Fenway.
“Stacey loved being involved in Little League, working with the kids, being at the park, doing whatever she could to keep the place nice – and the people liked her,” said Ron. “She was very popular with the mothers and grandmothers and the players and coaches.”
Stacey became ill at the age of nine and was a patient at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In the second year of the Walk, Ron decided that he wanted to contribute to the cause in honor of his daughter.
“It’s something I felt I had to do,” said Ron. “I wanted to do what I could to help out. Stacey would always come to the Walks and she and my wife (Jean) and my grandchildren would meet me at the finish line.” Ron and Jean LaQuaglia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 24.
Ron is in training for the 30th anniversary of the Walk, using the track at Harry Della Russo Stadium and the steep hills of Park Avenue to prepare for the half-marathon distance.
He is grateful to his family, including his son, Ronnie, who lives in Vancouver, and daughter, Annemarie, who lives in Boxford. “They’ve been supportive every year,” said Ron.
Ron added that the Revere community has been very generous to his effort. Ron singled out the annual giving by Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli. “Mickey has been there since Day 1, but knowing Mickey, that should not surprise anyone.”
(Revere residents interested in donating to Ron LaQuaglia’s walk can send their checks to: Ron LaQuaglia, 83 Sewall St., Revere, Mass., 02151. The checks should be made out to the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk).