For more than 15 years, Ken Galloway has been actively involved with the White Bear Area Food Shelf. He started as a donor, then contributed time as a volunteer. For the past nine years, he has served as a member of the board of directors. He will step down from the board this month.
"I've been connected to food my entire career — first as a chef, then in hospitality, " said Ken. "So, as I looked for ways to help out in the community, the food shelf was the obvious place."
“Very transformational” is the way Ken describes the changes at the food shelf over the past decade. As a member of the building committee during the renovation, he saw growth in size; he also saw a huge expansion in the services offered, which included the current choice-model shopping. He feels the welcoming and respectful culture is vital for the future of the food shelf.
“Ken has been a great resource as the board has evolved over the past few years, providing excellent perspective and insights,” said Board Chair Scott McCune. “I especially enjoy his ability to connect with different resources in the community in a very low-key, comfortable manner. Ken’s passion for helping others quickly become apparent during any conversation.”
Ken will become the first emeritus board member as he ends his third term of service at the end of January.
One of Ken’s most satisfying accomplishments during his tenure at the food shelf is founding the Bear’ly Open – Golf on Ice event. The winter fun takes place this year Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
Ken was first exposed to the idea of a golf event on ice as a member of the Wayzata Rotary. He brought up the idea when he transferred to the White Bear Lake Rotary. The club was challenged to come up with a new community-focused event with a charitable endeavor connected to it.
“I promoted the White Bear Area Food Shelf as the benefactor, because that’s where my heart was,” Ken said. He has been amazed by how the community has embraced the event and enjoys that his kids have made it a family tradition since the first year.
“The Bea'rly Open is not only a fun and unique winter event but a great example of the White Bear area community coming together to make a substantial impact for neighbors in need,” said Executive Director Perry Petersen. “Ken’s leadership with the Bearly Open event and the board of the White Bear Area Food Shelf has been instrumental in seeing the food shelf grow to helping 1,200 families any given month in 2019.”
In its 13th year, the event attracts hundreds of local residents to a community dance and an afternoon of golf on White Bear Lake. The Bear’ly Open has raised $180,800 in donations to the food shelf, which has helped purchase nearly $1.5 million in food. For more information or to register, visit bearlyopen.org/.