Manuel (Mel) F. Gallegos has been a member of Rotary International for 11 very active and creative years. He and his wife Judith of 33 years, recently attended Rotary’s biggest event of the year, the formal, Foundation Paul Harris (founder of Rotary) Gala. Mel and Judy are strong believers in the Rotary Foundation to which they contribute much of their time and money.
Martin Peters, past president of the Del Mar Rotary Club, an officer of Rotary International Serving the then 59 Clubs as Governor of District #5340, and now Chair for large contributions given to the Rotary Foundation recognized the Gallegos by giving them a crystal as Major Donors of which only the the top 4,000 of the 1.3 Rotarians in the world have.
Gallegos is currently Secretary of the Poway Club and was Foundation Chair. He is a Past-President of District Council of Rotary Clubs, a District Rotaract Chair, and was a co-chairman, with his wife, Judy for the 2002 District Conference held aboard the M.S. Ecstasy on its way to Ensenada.
Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotarians, Delta M. Collins, Robert and Dawn Fenner, President, Bill and Alma Lignante, and Michael and Yvette Pfankuch, President-Elect, also attended the Gala. Rotarians came from all over Imperial and San Diego Counties so, many spend the night at the Town and Country Hotel in Mission Valley, the Gala site.
Mel is a Registered Nurse and one of the managers of an Intermediate Care Unit at Sharp Memorial Hospital where he has been employed since 1981. In 2002, Mel was the first recipient of the Leadership Award, a new annual award being given to managers at Sharp Memorial Hospital who exhibit strong leadership qualities. Gallegos has used these special talents on many occasions to help children all over the world. In Eritrea, Africa, in 1999, he participated in the NID (National Immunization Day) where he gave children their polio immunization drops as a part of Rotary’s Polio Eradication Program. And then he went to Ensenada, Mexico, where he assisted the “A Thousand Smiles Foundation” while they did surgery to correct facial abnormalities.
Even before discovering Rotary, Assistant Governor Judy Gallegos’, life was punctuated with service. During her college years, she spent a summer in Argentina serving the communities of Bahia Blanca and Trewlew. She has been President and Treasurer of her local PTA, and served as Girl Scout Leader. Judy is a third generation native Californian. Judy is president and owner of Gallegos, Inc., a bookkeeping and tax service based in Poway.
In September, Judy Gallegos, a Rotarian for 13 years, was Chair of the all District Foundation Seminar at the Salk Institute. This site is fitting as it was virologist Dr. Jonas Salk who developed the first vaccine for Polio (1954). The Rotary Foundation has been instrumental in helping to eradicating Polio from most of the world.
Judy was District Treasurer for four years. During her tenure as President of the Rotary Club in Poway, the club raised $5,050.00 for Operation Wheelchairs for Malawi, Africa and she and Mel, with the Boss man, William McDade, helped deliver medical orthopedic equipment donated by Rotary. She has also served two years as District Foundation Mentor.
In describing Mel and Judy, the Past District Governor, Larry Scott, said, “Now, here is a couple who have really devoted themselves to Rotary. They went on a National Polio Immunization Day program, at their own expense, to Eriteria. Two years ago, they joined Bill McDade, Past District Governor, and Larry Scott on a medical trip to Malawi, Africa. They are tireless in their support of Rotary, and there are just not enough superlatives to describe all they have done and continue to do. ”
Story submitted by Delta Collins.