Ruth Galyon, who recently celebrated her 88th birthday, likes to remember the good times and ignore the bad.
“Going through life when you’re as old as I am, there’s always ups and downs,” she said.
Galyon has helped others through their own challenges with her involvement in the Dayton Catholic Women’s Club. Through the club, she has helped to raise thousands of dollars and provided for the needs of women, children and others for decades.
For many years, she chaired the group’s signature event, the annual Christmas boutique and luncheon that raises money for community grants and scholarships. While she is happy to appeal for funds to help others, she also has assisted those in need personally by leading the group in creating Easter baskets and Christmas stockings for children without homes.
“Imagine how excited you would be if you never had anything like that,” Galyon said.
When tornadoes struck the Miami Valley in 2019, she urged club members to collect the biggest purses they no longer wanted. Many did just that and donated new ones, too. They were then filled with hygiene products and given to women served by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
“We filled them ‘til we couldn’t even zip them,” she remembered.
Later that same year, the club filled laundry baskets with towels, soap, toilet paper and other products, and those too were donated.
Galyon, of Brookville, was born and raised in a small town in Virginia before moving to Dayton in 1953. About 30 years ago she was playing golf with a friend, who encouraged her to join her at an upcoming meeting. Galyon was soon chairing a committee of the Dayton Catholic Women’s Club and was president when it celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1998. The club will turn 100 next spring, and Galyon would like to see the nonprofit organization’s membership grow.
The club has about 400 members who participate in different ways, said Margene Robinson, the club’s current president. Galyon is among the busiest. Robinson nominated Galyon and the Dayton Catholic Women’s Club as Dayton Daily News Community Gems.
“Everyone kind of looked at her as a role model in the Dayton Catholic Women’s Club,” said Robinson, of Kettering.
In just the past year, the club has supported a number of local organizations, collecting food, funds, Christmas gifts and more. The club donated funds for new playground equipment for St. Vincent de Paul as well, and throughout the years the club also has provided grants to other nonprofit organizations for projects assisting children and families, along with college scholarships for young Catholic women.
Galyon’s goal has long been to boost the hope and resilience of those she helps, Robinson said. As a member of this strong group of faithful Catholic women, she has been able to help the less fortunate in many ways. Robinson and the others on the club’s board of directors want to make sure they continue to carry on Galyon’s work.
“We want to carry that torch that she lit,” Robinson said.
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