Charities that She
is involved with:
- North Broward School
- St. Coleman Catholic Church & School
- Cardinal Gibbons High School
- Sample McDougald Preservation Society
- St. Paul The Apostle
- Catholic Health Services
- Nova Southeastern University College of Psychology
- Marine Environmental Education Center
- Sallarulo/Special Olympics
- The Venetian Arts Society
SUSAN N. GALLO
It’s too easy to write about male dominance in the realm of giving back to our humanity. Truth be told, women have been the major contributors to society when it comes to freely loving and caring for others. They typically offer themselves without fanfare or bravado like their male counterparts. I have observed in my participation in community organizations that I am often sitting at a conference table surrounded by the female species. I often wonder where the “guys” are; yet when it comes to public relations of these community services the guys typically dominate.
It will be my goal to even the playing field. In my first edition of this column, I felt it necessary to focus on women and one in particular. I know this person intimately; she has been my wife of 38 years, Susan N. Gallo. She has quietly and unassumingly been supporting community efforts in Broward County with a special focus on school children since 1986. Her passion is to fight addiction in youth and to that end she has devoted all her spare time to engaging with educational organizations and community arts and culture organizations where she can impart this message.
Susan’s quest began with centering her efforts around our children and immediately taking a leadership position in whatever school they attended. This included services as simple as always serving as a “Home Room Mom,” to major leadership positions at both St. Coleman and Cardinal Gibbons. She served as President of the Home School Association for 9 years at St. Coleman School and moved on to Cardinal Gibbons where she served as President of the Parent Teachers Association. I spent these years watching her passion, commitment and free offering of time. I can attest that this was more than a full-time job and the pay, a big fat zero. What was wonderful to watch was the joy she received from watching those children mature, flourish with talents they never knew they had, and move on to institutions of higher education. Speaking of higher education, Susan now donates her time to Nova Southeastern University where she serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Psychology. She brings her passion for fighting addiction to a higher level of impact. NSU is known for its addiction studies and research. As a result of this participation Susan was instrumental in convincing me (us) to establish a scholarship in our family name at the College to support students who are engaged in addiction studies. Her argument to me was that this was a way of continuing her work after we are long gone. It is true that our legacy by giving back is a message to a generation we will never meet.
Beyond education Susan has made a substantial impact in our cultural community as well. She followed my personal interests in Historic Preservation and has served on the Board of Historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale and, most recently, on the Sample McDougald Preservation Society Board. Her passion in historic preservation is raising funds for the continuation of these historic treasures. To date, she has Co-chaired roasts of Chip LaMarca, William Keith, Dan Hobby, Dennis Beach, Dirk DeJong, Tom DiGiorgio and, of course, me. Her efforts have raised over a million dollars for these organizations.
After reading this column, it is easy to see why I selected the love of my life as the first in the renewed series of “Giving Back.” In future columns, I plan on helping women be recognized for what they do in their typical quiet, unassuming but loving, caring manner.