Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Mrs. Virginia “Ginger” Gallagher is well known for her selfless dedication to her community. A native of Long Island, Mrs. Gallagher moved to City Island in the Bronx more than 40 years ago with her late husband, Jack. Graduating from Pace University and Cornell University, she was first employed by the New York Daily News and named the first affirmative action officer at the newspaper. Mrs. Gallagher became active in the City Island community early on. She was a founding member of the City Island Community Center and the City Island Volunteer Ambulance Corps. During her tenure as President of the Civic Association from 1962 to 1981, she worked with other islanders to pressure the city to build a new school on the former site of Nevins Shipyard. Public School 175 proudly opened its doors in 1975.
Mrs. Gallagher’s contribution and service extends far beyond the boundaries of her community. Outside City Island, Mrs. Gallagher served as a Vice-President of the Bronx County Historical Society, and in 1990 she received the society’s William C. Beller Award for Excellence and Achievement. She was the first elected Chairman of Community Planning Board 12 during the period when Co-op City, the largest Mitchell-Llama Development in New York State, was built. In 1977 she was appointed to Community Board 10, where she served as a volunteer chairman and is currently head of the Parks Committee. She also helped create the Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge Sanctuary in Pelham Bay Park.
Mrs. Gallagher is probably best known on City Island today for her involvement in Pilot Cove Manor on Pilot Street. In 1979 she took over the Presidency of the City Island Senior Citizens Residence, which had been trying for some time to build senior citizen housing on City Island. Her diligence and determination to obtain both Federal and State funding to purchase the property next to Consolidated Shipyard, ensured that and Pilot Cove Manor became a reality in 1981. The time, patience and skills that she has brought to the program have led to the improved quality of life for countless individuals.