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Gale is a Circles Level supporter of KSS. Her story of the role of sports in her life is inspiring; it was the impetus for her support of KSS.

Gale Dean
“The Power of Sports Personified”

Her small stature and petite frame would seem to belie Gale Dean’s statement that it was volleyball that created her lifelong passion for sports. However, it doesn’t take much conversation with Gale before one begins to visualize a younger version of this vibrant, determined woman setting the ball up for a point-gaining spike or diving to the floor to keep a ball in play.

Growing up in a large Catholic family in St. Louis, Gale was introduced to her ‘sports mentor’ during her sixth grade year in the parochial school she attended. He was a “wonderful priest who realized the value of sports for little girls who have a tendency to be snarly,” Gale relates. “He began teaching us volleyball during summer CYO camp. We played other parochial schools and ended up as champs!” Father Kramer also introduced the girls to basketball and softball and provided uniforms which, Gale says, “equalized everybody.”

This experience drove Gale’s continuing commitment to sports. As a young woman, she played field hockey and tennis, and swam. She continues to enjoy golf and has passed her love of sports on to her two daughters.

Reflecting on the value of sports in her life, Gale says, “sports gave me confidence. I was proud when people called me a tomboy. I learned to be a good loser and a good team player.”

Sports even created a common bond between Gale and her late husband, Hal, who went to college on a basketball scholarship. After college, Hal began his career at Ralston Purina as a clerk and retired as CEO and Chairman of the company.

It seems natural that Gale would fully embrace the mission of Kids Sports Stars (KSS) to motivate and educate kids to adopt active, healthy lifestyles, using the power of sports and fitness. “I know from my own experience the power of sports to change lives,” Gale says.

Gale and Hal have supported Kids Sports Stars with their philanthropy since its beginning in 2003. Gale never hesitates to serve as an advocate for KSS and readily shares success stories of kids who participate in KSS programs.

One success story involves two brothers, African refugees, who attended Squaw Peak elementary school and didn’t know any English. They were generally ignored by most of the children and made fun of by others until they began participating in the KSS walking program in their school. Their natural athletic ability became apparent to everyone when they ran (not walked) more miles then anyone else. As Gale puts it, they were “equalized!”


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