Friends fund scholarship in honor of the Rev. Leo Gallina

Higie, Gallina, Golubock
Harvey Golubock, Leo Gallina and Bill Higie

Friends of the Rev. Leo Gallina, organized by Terry Palmer of Smethport, have endowed a scholarship in honor of the popular Catholic priest. 

            A Bradford native who served the Erie diocese for 46 years, Gallina retired in 2011 after returning home to Bradford to serve as pastor of St. Bernard Catholic Church as his last pulpit.

            Palmer became friends with Gallina through the shared passion of golf.

            “I’m inspired by the way he lives life and treats people,” Palmer said. “I wanted to honor Father Leo by contributing to one of his favorite organizations, Pitt-Bradford.” Gallina has endowed two scholarships himself at Pitt-Bradford in memory of his parents and brother. Those scholarships have assisted 55 students since 1998.

            Palmer said he knew raising the money for the scholarship would be easy because Gallina has so many friends. After Palmer sent a letter requesting friends to donate, more than 40 people did. “Everybody that I talked to said, ‘We’re in.’”

            He said Gallina, who now lives in Erie, was pleased by the tribute and made a contribution to the scholarship himself.

            In addition to Pitt-Bradford, Gallina also has supported several community organizations, including the Bradford Area Public Library, Bradford Hospital Foundation and scholarships at Gannon and St. Bonaventure universities. He has also given his time to serve on the boards of numerous local organizations, including Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems, Futures Inc., the Bradford Family YMCA and the Bradford Hospital Foundation.

            Contributions for the Rev. Leo J. Gallina Scholarship Fund are continuing to be taken. For more information or to make a donation, contact Jill Ballard, executive and managing director of the Bradford Educational Foundation, at or (814)362-5091.