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ALLETE book drive benefits nonprofits, honors legacy of employee

John Galo and Logan Creurer, son of ALLETE employees Hillary and Ryan Creurer, cheer on the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. This image is on stickers placed inside the more than 1,400 books collected through the book drive. Submitted photo / ALLETE
Employees at ALLETE Inc. (NYSE: ALE) recently donated more than 1,400 new and used children’s books to several Twin Ports nonprofits in memory of the late John Galo.

The book drive and this week’s John Galo Memorial 5K in Duluth both honor the legacy of Galo, who was director of employee/labor relations and talent acquisition for ALLETE when he died in January 2017 after suffering a heart attack. He was 49.

A familiar face across the company, Galo touched many livesboth inside and outside of ALLETE.

“John’s compassion and willingness to help others exemplified ALLETE’s value of community engagement,” said Bethany Owen, senior vice president ALLETE and chief legal and administrative officer. “John’s coworkers organizing this book drive was a wonderful way to honor him. He would have loved the idea of helping to fill the bookshelves at these organizations devoted to providing services for children and families. John loved kids and kids loved him.”

ALLETE’s Human Resources Department organized the company-wide effort—“Galo’s Gifts: a Legacy of Literacy”—that focused on collecting books for children ages 3-12 during May.

Beginning in June, employees distributed more than 1,100 of the books to Amberwing, a nonprofit mental health and substance abuse center for children, adolescents and their families in Duluth; and Northwood Children’s Services, a private, not-for-profit agency that provides care, education and treatment for boys and girls with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities in Duluth.

Another 300 books collected by ALLETE subsidiary Superior Water, Light and Power were donated to organizations in Superior: CASDA, the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse which provides services to people hurt by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse; Harbor House, which provides shelter, transitional living and services for homeless women and families; the Boys & Girls Club, which provides supportive services for young people; the Superior YMCA; and Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior.

Stickers placed inside each book note that the book “was donated in honor and loving memory of John P. Galo by his friends and family of colleagues at ALLETE Inc. and its affiliated companies.”

The book distributions were completed last week, days ahead of the second John Galo Memorial 5K on Wednesday, July 18, at Lester Park in Duluth. Minnesota Power is one of the sponsors of the event, which is organized by Galo’s family.

About 300 people participated in the event last year. This year, proceeds will go to Life Source, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest. Galo was an organ donor.

ALLETE, Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth.