Lending a Hand
Laura and Lou Maddaloni, owners of Maddaloni Jewelers in Huntington,
NY, didn't have marketing in mind when they founded Les Petits Bijoux Pediatric
Foundation in 1997. Instead, they sought to use their standing as high-profile
businesspeople to help families of sick children pay for treatments and
surgery a cause close to home.
In February 1997, the Maddalonis' six-year-old son Nicholas was diagnosed
with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, a treatable pediatric hip disorder. While
visiting the doctor's office with Nicholas one day, Laura Maddaloni met
the mother of twin boys born with severe cerebral palsy, which left them
unable to speak. The mother told Maddaloni new injections and surgery could
help the boys, but her insurance company wouldn't pay for them.
Overwhelmed by the woman's helplessness, Maddaloni realized she could
use the jewelry store to raise money for the woman and her sons. Later that
year the Maddalonis formally founded the pediatric foundation, which applies
100% of donated money directly to medical treatments. Donations are deposited
in an account monitored by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York
City and reserved for specific children with definitive treatment schedules.
Donors receive reports of their child's condition, treatments received and
Each November the Maddalonis hold a fund-raiser at their store, charging
an admission fee of $150 for an evening of fun, games and chances to win
prizes. Last year the invitation included puzzles guests had to solve for
clues to a riddle; correct answers were entered in a drawing for a 1-ct.
diamond. Guests also entered a trivia contest and earned chances to win
designer jewelry if they got the answers right. This year Maddaloni says
she hopes to tie the event's theme in with the millennium and music, possibly
including a timeline of jewelry-inspired songs.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.