Bay Ridge

Quaglione heads up Brooklyn Chapter of March of Dimes

Bay Ridgeite visits Kings Plaza to push ‘Shop for a Cause’ event

August 23, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Craig DiMonda (left), assistant store manager of Macy’s Kings Plaza, John Quaglione (center) and Gerard Guichard, Macy’s Kings Plaza store manager, join forces to promote the “Shop for a Cause” fundraising event. Photo courtesy of Quaglione

A Bay Ridge man who takes part every year in the March for Babies event sponsored by the March of Dimes is expanding his mission.

John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden, is the co-chairman of the newly formed Brooklyn Chapter of the March of Dimes New York. Quaglione and his wife Kerry participate in the annual March for Babies walk-a-thon in Manhattan to help raise money for the March of Dimes, the nationwide organization founded in 1938 to help premature babies and infants with birth defects. At this year’s march, the couple and their friends raised nearly $5,000.

The Quagliones call their walk-a-thon group “Team Natalie” after their older daughter, Natalie Grace, who is four years old now. Natalie was two months premature when she was born in 2011. The couple has a second daughter, Olivia, who is five months old.

Back in 2011, John and Kerry Quaglione had to visit Natalie Grace in the neonatal intensive care unit at New York Methodist Hospital, where the baby was kept in an incubator, attached to a spider web of tubes. The loving care that Natalie Grace received at the hospital, along with the emotional support they were given by the hospital’s staff, is something the couple will always remember, John Quaglione said. The Quagliones decided to give back by raising money for the March of Dimes.

Given his family’s outstanding fundraising efforts, John Quaglione was asked by the New York City chapter of the March of Dimes to head up a new Brooklyn chapter.

“I’m very excited about it,” Quaglione told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The March of Dimes New York chapter noticed at the marches that a lot of the people participating were from Brooklyn. And there is a lot of enthusiasm among the parents in Brooklyn about having our own chapter.”

The Brooklyn chapter is planning a reception to serve as a kickoff event on Nov. 17, which is World Prematurity Day. But Quaglione isn’t waiting until November to help the March of Domes raise money. On Aug. 17, he went to the Kings Plaza Shopping Mall to talk to managers and associates at Macy’s to motivate them for an upcoming “Shop for a Cause” weekend. The “Shop for a Cause” event will take place on Aug. 26, 27 and 28 at Macy’s.

Customers can purchase a $5 coupon to receive special store discounts. The $5 is donated to the March of Dimes. Customers who purchase the weekend savings pass will receive 25 percent off on wide variety of items. The “Shop for a Cause” program raised $3 million dollars in 2015. The funds are needed, according to Quaglione.

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“Over 21,000 babies were born premature in New York State last year, one in 10 babies, and prematurity is the Number One killer of babies in the United States,” he said.

Quaglione will also visit Macy’s at Kings Plaza on Aug. 27 to assist store employees in the fundraising event.

“I look forward to being at the store on Aug. 27 and join the staff in selling these coupons, for only $5.00 dollars, where all proceeds go to the March of Dimes for research and family support,” he said.

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