Bay Ridge community leader John Quaglione, co-chair of March of Dimes Brooklyn Committee, is a man with a mission. He has a stellar resume of neighborhood involvement in Bay Ridge. A part of state Sen. Marty Golden’s team since 2001, most recently as Golden’s deputy chief-of-staff, he is also the chair of the board of directors at St. Anselm Catholic Academy.
Quaglione’s fundraising efforts helped raise more than $4,000 in November to support March of Dimes during Prematurity Awareness Month.
This is a personal endeavor for John and Kerry Quaglione, whose daughter Natalie Grace was born prematurely. Kerry is the assistant principal at P.S.127 in Bay Ridge. Natalie was born two months premature in 2011.
Although Natalie is a healthy young girl now, the Quagliones are aware that other children and their families who aren’t as fortunate need the help and support of the March of Dimes.
“For my family and me, the March of Dimes is important to our lives because my first daughter was born eight weeks early,” said Quaglione. “And for my second baby, my wife was treated by medicine developed in the March of Dimes research labs. We are blessed to have two beautiful and healthy daughters, and that is why we have committed ourselves to the fight to end premature births.”
Two “Painting for Preemies” events held on Nov. 17 officially recognized as World Prematurity Day, raised over $2,000. The events were held at Pinot’s Palette in Dyker Heights and in Park Slope.
Children and families who took part, spent the afternoon painting a penguin-themed canvas, enjoying pizza, and taking chances to win a wide array of donated prizes.
“During Prematurity Awareness Month, Brooklyn families truly stepped up to the plate to support March of Dimes,” said Quaglione. “I want to thank everyone who made our World Prematurity Day painting parties so successful in raising both funds and awareness. Those of us involved in the Brooklyn Committee, support the work the March of Dimes is doing to help improve the health of all moms and babies.”
In addition to the World Prematurity Day events, a number of local schools joined efforts to raise funds through various activities including Wonder Walks, “Wear Purple” school events and “dress down” days. Through the efforts of P.S 127, 160, 186 and St. Anselm Catholic Academy, an additional $2,000 was raised, according to Quaglione.