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August 1999

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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 progress.

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.



 

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