Why do you do what you do?
Reaching out to others was taught to me at a very young age. I was raised in the southeast section of Canton, where everyone helped one another. My parents were very generous with what they had; they never turned away anyone who had a need.
I was the youngest of eight boys and I saw how my older brothers volunteered in the community — and oftentimes I would go with them to various events. One particular organization that impressed me was a group of men who formed the Canton Ex-Newsboys in 1960. They were professionals, elected officials, and blue- and white-collar workers from all walks of life. Their motto — “No Child Shall Miss School for Need of Shoes or Clothing.”
During a period of more than 40 years, I joined more than 300 volunteer members to raise money through various activities and fundraisers. All funds went to purchase coats, shoes, boots and other items for children throughout Stark County who could not afford them.
I served as president in the 1970s and was chairman of the Purchasing Committee for about 15 years, which provided clothing to families that requested assistance. I am still an active member and permanent trustee.
Through the years, I have served in various capacities for charitable organizations such as United Way, Central Catholic High School, Walsh University and St. Anthony’s Parish. I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to help others, and I know I personally have received more than I have given. I am honored to be one of the thousands of volunteers in this great community.
What is on your bucket list?
I honestly feel that what I need, I have. Those things include my faith, my family, my friends and the country in which I was born.
What is on your mind?
I feel that as a country, we have drifted away from God and morality. I also believe our wants have become our needs, which has created greater burdens on families.
Who: Gary J. Ranalli, 68, married in 1969 to Mildred Ballog; three children; Bridget, Rachel and Gary; two grandchildren; Anthony and Sophia.
What: Taught from 1968-71 at St. Joseph Elementary in Alliance. Hired in 1971 by Canton Mayor Stanley Cmich as an accountant, became budget director until 1979.Was business manager for Stark County Board of MRDD from 1979-2000, acting superintendent for about one year. Retired in 2000.
Education: St. Anthony’s Elementary School, 1959; Central Catholic High School, 1963; and Walsh University, 1968.
Community boards: Canton Ex-Newsboys Association; St. Anthony’s/All Saints Parish Church, Pastoral Council and eucharistic minister; United Way; Central Catholic; and Walsh University