For 29 consecutive years, Revere resident Ron LaQuaglia has stepped to the starting line in Wellesley for the annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.
This year, LaQuaglia will be accompanied on the Sept. 22 Walk by his 14-year-old grandson, Johnny Benedetto, son of John and Annmarie Benedetto of Boxford.
Together grandfather and grandson will raise funds in memory of Mr. LaQuaglia’s daughter, Stacey, who died in April, 2005, due to complications from leukemia. Stacey became ill at the age of nine and battled courageously against the disease before succumbing at the age of 30.
LaQuaglia has dedicated each of his 13.1-mile Walks in his daughter’s memory, raising more than $75,000 for cancer research.
“I continue to do it, knowing what my daughter went through and hoping that it will help other children from going through this illness,” said LaQuaglia.
The 74-year-old former Revere Little League president has been in training for the Walk, scaling the hills of Park Avenue and walking on the football field in 100-yard intervals three or four times a week.
A retired Quincy schoolteacher, LaQuaglia also stays in shape during his employment as an usher at Fenway Park for the past 18 years. He did receive a World Series championship ring and watch for the 2018 season.
LaQuaglia has had a number of major supporters for his fundraising effort, including his friend, Mickey “Say No To Drugs” Casoli, who died on July 20.
“Mickey was always supportive of my daughter throughout her life,” said LaQuaglia. “He was very generous to my cause of helping the Jimmy Fund.”
LaQuaglia is excited to have his grandson, Johnny, participating in the endeavor side-by-side.
“Johnny’s aunt, Stacey, would be real proud of him,” said Mr. LaQuaglia.
(Friends and supporters wishing to donate the Jimmy Fund in memory of Stacey LaQuaglia may send a check made out to “Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk to: Ron LaQuaglia, 83 Sewall St., Revere, MA 02151, or go to the Jimmy Fund website and type in: Ron LaQuaglia. Donations will be accepted until Oct. 31).