Carole Galli



Carole Galli attributes her many years of volunteering to her mouth.

“I think out loud,” she says, “and the next thing you know, I’m in charge.”

Her specialty is organization and fundraising. Lately, All Saints Episcopal Church’s 30th annual Garden Tour has been getting most of her attention. As tour chairwoman, she’s in charge of making sure the event has another successful year of raising money for local charities. This year’s tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 20 and will feature three private gardens on Hilton Head Island and four in Bluffton.

Galli discovered her talent for fundraising and organization as a freshman at Michigan State University. Her dorm wanted to enter a float in a parade competition, and Galli soon found herself offering ideas other students liked. She threw herself into the work, even getting a local fire department to donate a large fire bell. The float won, and from that point on, Galli has been known as a go-to person when it comes time to head up a nonprofit project.

carolegalli“She has a passion for whatever she does,” says the Rev. Richard Lindsey, rector at All Saints Episcopal Church. “She has the spirit, the passion and the knowledge to make it work.”

Galli also attributes her desire to lead nonprofit projects to being a musician, which she says taught her perseverance, patience, organizational skills and creativity. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and worked for more than 30 years as a high school choral conductor in Red Oak, Michigan. She now sings with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Throughout her career as a choral conductor, she helped her students raise money to travel to performances, and as a mother, she helped her daughter’s Girl Scout troop pay for a slew of trips with a cassette of Girl Scout songs she produced.

After retiring and moving to Hilton Head in 2004 with her husband, Norman, and daughter Nicole, she wasted no time diving into volunteer work.

She helped start Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head, which sends food home with low-income students. She helps build Habitat for Humanity homes and led an effort at All Saints Episcopal Church to raise $70,000 to build and furnish a home in Hilton Head’s first Habitat community.

Her music passion also guides her volunteerism. When her mother died of cancer in 2007, Galli produced a CD and put on jazz concerts to raise money for Hospice Care of the Lowcountry in her mother’s memory. She served on the board of the Jazz Lovers of the Lowcountry and helped raise money for the organization. She also serves as a liaison between schools and the Junior Jazz Foundation’s program to refurbish musical instruments to donate to students.

So it was no surprise when Galli became a member of All Saints six years ago that she would be a busy church helper. For five years, she has organized the tour’s annual party to honor garden hosts. New for this year’s tour, in honor of its 30th anniversary, she’s throwing a champagne celebration to honor all past tour leaders. On top of that, she has to make sure the tour, which drew 625 attendees last year, goes off without a hitch.

So why all the work when she’s retired and living in a resort community?

She cites the people she has met along the way.

“You volunteer for something,” she says, “and you’ll have a lot of friends.”


What: The 30th annual tour will feature seven gardens in southern Beaufort County. The event also includes lunch, a boutique, arts and craft vendors, live music and baked goods. A special quilt sewn in honor of the 30th anniversary will be auctioned. All event proceeds go to local charities.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 20
Where: The church is at 3001 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island. Lunch will be served at the church.
Cost: Tickets are $35 and include lunch.
Details: 843-689-9495,