A founding member of the Grace Foundation of New York and currently on The Board of Directors, Diane is an advocate for the developmentally disabled. She was motivated to helping and inspiring others when at the young age of 17 was appointed liturgical leader for her local parish. She continued to service others as she volunteered at nursing homes, taught CCD and took part in many charity events within her community.
In 1989, Diane wed Police Sergeant Michael Peruggia. While pregnant with their second child, Michael Jr. their two year old daughter Alexa was diagnosed with autism. Inspired by her daughter, Diane along with a group of others formed an organization to support and offer program services for families affected by the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since its inception in August of 2000, The Grace Foundation has opened its doors to provide help and resources for any individuals and households afflicted by autism and promote community awareness.
Diane and her colleagues at Grace have focused their energies on furnishing support, encouragement, educational programs and workshops, social skills, seminars and various recreational activities for the autistic community. She has chaired National Autism Conferences featuring prominent speakers and experts in the field; developed a newsletter to keep members up to date on the latest services and programs available locally and nationwide: sponsored regularly scheduled family fun events: and advocated in Albany and Washington on behalf of preventing the closure of the Institute of Basic Research.
Diane serves as an Executive Board member of the Staten Island Developmental Disability Council for Staten Island. She has served as a member of the SIDDSO Family Support Services Advisory Council/Consumer Council for the past 14 years and is currently the Chairperson. She represents Staten Island at the New York City Regional Council for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). In addition, she serves on Community Board Three and a member of the Human Resource Committee and is on the Board of Directors of the James Cancer Fund.
Diane is the physician liaison/public relations person for a large multi specialty neurological and orthopedic Clinical group located in four locations in Staten Island and one in Brooklyn. Her and her husband reside in Huguenot and are owners of Great Escapes Travel.