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Published: 9/2/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

Ex-board member leaves $1M to Metroparks

Will also gives to Jewish Federation

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jack Gallon, shown at Wildwood  Preserve Metropark in 2005, served for more than two decades on the board of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area. When Mr. Gallon died in March, he left $1 million in his will to the Metroparks. Jack Gallon, shown at Wildwood Preserve Metropark in 2005, served for more than two decades on the board of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area. When Mr. Gallon died in March, he left $1 million in his will to the Metroparks.
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As a young attorney Jack Gallon jogged on trails of what would eventually become Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

Kathryn Gallon said her late husband found inspiration in the woods and meadows on the Sylvania Township land that was then owned by the Robert Stranahan family

“He always said that some of his best ideas came from running through that property,” Mrs. Gallon said.

Mr. Gallon, who died March 9 at age 82, set aside $1 million in his will to the Metroparks of the Toledo Area.

He had served for two decades on the Metroparks board and was instrumental in creating the University/​Parks multipurpose trail in West Toledo and Sylvania Township and, later, the Wabash Cannonball Trail in western Lucas County.

“He always wanted to make the parks available as best he could to the public. He thought that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the parks as much as he did,” Mrs. Gallon said of his intentions in donating the money.

Scott Carpenter, a spokesman for the Metroparks, said the donation wasn’t unexpected because Mr. Gallon always said that he wanted to donate $1 million to the park district when he died.

The Metroparks donation, he said, will go to developing new trails as well as maintaining the park system’s existing 150 miles of trails for walking, running, biking, and horses.

“We want to use it for something that is appropriate to his legacy,” Mr. Carpenter said.

Mr. Gallon was inducted into the Ohio Parks and Recreation Hall of Fame in 2010.

After he stepped down from the Metroparks board in 2009, the Red Trail at Wildwood Preserve was named in his honor because of his passion and devotion to creating and maintaining trails.

Mr. Carpenter said Mr. Gallon was often seen walking at Wildwood with a paper bag and a pole to pick up any litter he found along the trails.

Mrs. Gallon said her husband also left $500,000 in his will to the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo.

Joel Marcovitch, chief executive officer of the Sylvania-based organization, said Mr. Gallon was a humanitarian and tremendous supporter of the local Jewish community.

Mr. Gallon had served on the Israel Bonds Committee and was inducted into the Jewish Community Center Athletic Hall of Fame.

In 1990, he received the Jewish National Fund’s Tree of Life Award.

The donation, he said, will likely be used to continue causes of the federation that the late attorney supported.

“We are forming a committee for this because we want to be sensitive to his legacy and the thoughts of his family,” Mr. Marcovitch said. “We are going to use the money strategically and use it in a way that will make the most impact. That is what he would have wanted.”

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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