Football was a passion of his, as was running. And of course, there was Amberwing Center for Youth & Family Well-Being, which John Galo experienced first-hand with his son. In January, John died of a massive heart attack due to undiagnosed coronary artery disease. On July 19 – National Football Day – his family and friends will host a 5K run in honor of John and his passions in life. Proceeds from the event will go to Amberwing.
“He was always so thankful for the services Amberwing provided,” says Barbie Westerberg, who was John’s girlfriend of four and a half years when he passed away.
Amberwing, which opened in 2012, was built by the Miller-Dwan Foundation and serves almost 600 clients every year, providing short-term intensive mental health care from infancy through young adulthood. John and Barbie attended the Miller-Dwan Foundation event, ARTcetera, several times to support Amberwing. “Every time we would go, John would inquire about how to name a room for his son,” Barbie says. “We felt that if we raised money for Amberwing in his memory, we could create legacy for him.”
John grew up in Two Harbors and graduated from the College of St. Scholastica. He was the director of Human Resources at Minnesota Power at the time of his death. In fact, the company is providing an incentive for employees to participate in the July 19 5K. “In his position, he touched a lot of people’s lives,” says Barbie. “I feel like by honoring him thru Amberwing, he is continuing to do that.”
You can register for the John Galo 5K, at EventBrite, where 120 people have already signed up. “John would be so proud,” Barbie says.