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2009 E-Lacrosse Feature: Ken Galluccio

The game lost a great ambassador this week.

One of my best friends in lacrosse passed away last week and while it is hard for me to really believe it happened, I cannot let his passing and my grief keep me from commenting on the whole game's loss while trying to keep mine personal.

Ken Galluccio was known to some as the European referee trainer and chief official at so many European events, including all of the E-Lacrosse Amsterdam and London tournaments.

Others knew Ken as a tireless advocate for European and German lacrosse, specifically at international lacrosse meetings and events.

Germans knew him as their patron saint of lacrosse. He supported every facet of German lacrosse. The Hamburg Lacrosse Club was truly his home. With help from Gilman and other generous organizations here in Baltimore, E-Lacrosse has been collecting used equipment and getting it into the hands of underserved German kids though Ken.

Ken was instrumental in mentoring the leaders of the Italian, Latvian and other national programs as well. He was a Long Island native who truly exported his love for the game. He was the best organizer the game could have wanted. He held so many ships together that his loss will be felt physically all over the game. But his smile and hugs and friendship are what most of us who knew him well will miss. His attention to others' needs and his ability to moderate conflicts will be dearly missed.

The Hamburg lacrosse site has posted a tribute to Ken. You can contribute to it as well if you knew him and feel the way I do or if you have a "Ken story" to share.

Ken chose to leave us and that makes it much harder to accept, but he was a 40 year-old man of complexity and an international intellectual. But that leaves the game reeling from two suicides this year. It just makes me wonder if we in lacrosse say often enough in those things that matter so much to our friends and peers, like "thank you," "great job," "you are appreciated" and "I love you."

Both men lost this year to their own hand were very special to a whole sub-community of lacrosse. I assume both knew that but perhaps we didn't say it enough.

February 26, 2009
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