Diocesan News

Fund to Support CYO Set Up in Honor of Late City Councilman Paul Vallone

Paul Vallone’s dedication to his church, St. Andrew Avellino, was clear not only in his faithful attendance at Mass every Sunday, but also in his involvement in the church’s sports program. He is pictured here enjoying a practice with the soccer team he coached. (Photo: Courtesy of Vincent LeVien)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — It has been three months since Paul Vallone, the former City Councilman and a Catholic, died unexpectedly from a heart attack at just 56 years old.

In the difficult time since his passing on Jan. 28, his family has grappled with how to honor his legacy. Now, they have found a way, working with their home parish of St. Andrew Avellino in Flushing to support the CYO program Vallone dedicated years to as a coach. 

The Coach Paul A. Vallone Soccer Fund will raise money for the St. Andrew Avellino soccer program however needed. Whether it’s a certain kid needing registration fees covered or new equipment for practice, the fund will help the players on the team that Vallone deeply loved.

“Being a public servant and just the human that he was, he really wanted to help others. This was a way that we thought we could continue giving back to what he loved to do and also staying within our parish,” Anna-Marie Vallone, Paul’s wife, told The Tablet.

St. Andrew Avellino began raising money on May 11 and has released flyers to make parishioners aware of the new fund. However, anyone can donate to the Coach Paul A. Vallone Soccer Fund.

“It’s part of the Catholic Youth Organization, so it’s civil. It’s part of our church and it’s part of what he loved to do with all the kids,” Anna-Marie said.

During his time as a coach, Vallone won two championships for St. Andrew Avellino. He also coached his two daughters, Lea and Catena, and his son Charlie, who plays on the soccer team at St. Francis Prep. The children were part of the decision to begin this fund, their mother said, and it was “clear that this is what they wanted to do.”

Paul Vallone pictured here with his daughter Lea (left), wife Anna-Marie, son Charlie, and daughter Catena. (Photo: Courtesy of Vincent LeVien)

The Vallone family has been parishioners at St. Andrew Avellino Church for decades, and are deeply rooted in the Flushing community. In the City Council from 2013 to 2021, Vallone represented a district that included Flushing, Whitestone, Douglaston, College Point, and Bayside. 

His and Anna-Marie’s three children attended the St. Andrew Avellino Catholic Academy, and played soccer for the CYO program.

One of Vallone’s priorities was the youth in his community, both in his private and professional life. Education was one of his top priorities during his eight years in the council. 

During this time, he pushed for more classrooms to be built and brought back the New York City Council Merit Scholarship program, The Tablet wrote in February. Paul’s brother and father also served on the City Council.

“My husband loved working with children in whatever capacity, in education as well as sports. This would have meant a lot to him. It really would have,” Anna-Marie said.