Hassan continued her speech by praising the club, Ganley and Lally, a longtime club board member who has been active in numerous organizations. They include Dollar for Scholars of Salem and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
“This club changes the lives of our young people,” she said. “Ann Lally, it is fantastic to be here to honor you.”
Hassan also lauded the people of Salem.
“This is a remarkable community, where each and every one of you gives of yourself every day,” she said.
Lally received her award from Ganley’s son, former Salem Deputy police Chief William Ganley.
He said Lally’s dedication exemplified the same community spirit demonstrated by his father. Poster-size photographs and caricatures of the longtime Salem official hung on the wall behind him.
“It is a wonderful honor that the community remembers my dad 25 years after his passing,” he said. “I can personally attest that (Lally) knows how to get things done.”
Lally wiped tears from her eyes after accepting the award.
“This award is truly one I will treasure,” she said. “The club has been a passion of mine. ... My motto has always been, ‘It’s for the children.’”
The annual luncheon is a special event that truly symbolizes what Salem is all about, according to Morse and Rep. Robert Elliott, R- Salem.
“I think it’s the tradition of Salem,” Morse said. “Everybody in this community tries to get things done.”
It’s one of the few times when local Republicans and Democrats can set aside their political differences, Elliott said.
“This is a rare occasion when everyone gets together to celebrate one of its heroes,” Elliott said.
Other guests included past award recipients, several police chiefs from across the state, Executive Councilor Christopher Sununu, Town Manager Keith Hickey, Sen. James Rausch, R-Derry, Rockingham County Register of Deeds Cathy Stacey, former House Speaker Donna Sytek, and Salem Selectmen Everett McBride Jr., Michael Lyons and James Keller.
Several state representatives also attended.