Meet Cay Galgon
Cay Galgon has always been described as a champion for the unborn and those with learning disabilities.
She was the wife of Dr. John P. Galgon to whom she was married for thirty-seven years. Cay was born in
Everett, MA. She graduated from Regis College in 1956. Upon graduation, she taught at a mission parish in
El Paso, Texas, and in Boston, MA. Subsequently, Cay became a recreation director for the Department of the Army in France, supporting American troops stationed in Europe.
Later, she spent several years as assistant Campus Minister at Cedar Crest College and worked as a client advocate at the Lehigh Valley A.R.C. (Association for Retarded Citizens). Between 1965 and 1980 with John, she started their family, bringing six children into the world. Committed to actively shaping the world for her children and grandchildren, she was instrumental in starting or leading numerous organizations, including Birthright, Pennsylvanians for Human Life, and Parents of Downs Syndrome. She acted publicly and privately in support of these initiatives.
Cay appeared on radio and television and spoke in elementary and high schools to advance the pro-life cause. She also invited unwed teen mothers to live in the Galgon home during their pregnancies. Cay established a scholarship for students of Mercy Special Learning Center, a wonderful school for children with learning disabilities, with which she had been active for 20 years. She volunteered with the Angel Shop in Allentown, whose proceeds went to Mary's Shelter in Reading. Her connection to Mary's Shelter was part of the inspiration for opening a maternity home in her name.
In fall of 2007, MJ Muller, Cory Lamack, Laura Michaelis, and Genny Manzella were discussing the untimely passing of Cay Galgon and her commitment to unborn babies and special needs children. They reminisced about this incredible woman and the wonderful legacy she left.
It was agreed to doing something in her memory, in her honor. The idea of a maternity shelter was born. In May 2008, a collaboration with
Mary's Shelter of Reading began and the planning began.
On February 14, 2011, the Executive Board approved a plan for the third site of Mary's Shelter of Reading. The zoning process was completed in August of that year and fundraising and planning began for shelter. In November 2011, it was announced that the name would be Mary's Shelter - The Cay Galgon Center at the request of the Galgon family. Their generous donation was a solid foundation upon which the board was able to build additional support. The many sponsored rooms allowed renovations to begin in January 2012.
The Cay Galgon Center welcomed its first resident in April 2012. Bishop Barres, the Galgon Family, the Development Advisory board and countless donors and volunteers were present for the official opening and building dedication of Mary's Shelter, Cay Galgon Center. The former St. Simon and Jude Convent had been newly renovated into a beautiful home for mothers and their babies. In 2019, the Cay Galgon Life House became an independent non-profit organization.
The Cay Galgon Life House is her spirit. As the oldest daughter of five siblings, Cay felt a birthright to step forward, take charge and lead. She had conviction, boldness, and courage with causes that some considered unpopular. Cay certainly felt the sting of leading these battles, but it never slowed her down. She cherished her motherhood and tenderly loved her children. She wanted this love for all children and all mothers. Cay was practical. She did small things, every day - collect blankets, ask for money, share a story, bring food - that made a difference.
Cay's legacy was her tenacious and active fight for the defenseless in our communities, her buoyant smile and ready sense of humor. She loved God. She loved her husband and her family. She loved the world. Cay lived this love in small ways and large, in public and private, directly and through her efforts in the community, for all of her days.