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July 29. 2014 9:56PM

Salem selectmen honor retiring Special Olympics coach

Salem Board of Selectmen Chairman Pat Hargreaves presents a certificate to Ed Gallagher Jr. honoring his years of volunteer service to the town. (ADAM SWIFT/Union Leader Correspondent)

SALEM — The Knightly Room at Town Hall was packed Monday night as selectmen honored Edward Gallagher Jr. for his years of volunteer service to the town.

Gallagher is retiring from his volunteer coaching duties for the town’s Special Olympics program this year after 17 years of coaching everything from soccer, bowling, basketball, and track and field.

In the time that Gallagher ran the program, he coached a total of 51 seasons of sporting events and put in untold thousands of hours at games, events, and practices, according to town Parks and Recreation Director Chris Dillon.

“In addition to his contributions, his daughter Kelly and wife Barbara have also coached programs,” said Dillon.

Dillon noted that Salem has one of the larger individual town programs for Special Olympics in the region.

“The programs would not be possible if not for the volunteers,” he said.

Selectmen presented Gallagher with a certificate of appreciation thanking him not only for the time he has given to the program’s participants, but for the help and inspiration he has been to other volunteers and coaches in the program.

Selectmen Chairman Pat Hargreaves thanked Gallagher for the long hours he has put into the program.

“On a personal note, I know what it takes to volunteer and the hours it takes,” he said.

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