Ganley Award Befits Ann Lally as She Puts Others First

March 21, 2014

by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

Good food shared with friends, as well as an award in his honor, made sense as a way to honor Chief John P. Ganley.  Just ask George Khoury, Judge Robert Marshall, Derry Police Chief Edward Garone, former Town Manager Don Jutton, Don Bliss, Former Fire Chief Steve Buco, and Frank Murray who decided a luncheon at the Boys & Girls Club on St. Patrick’s Day would fit the bill.  They also created the Chief John P. Ganley Community Service Award in honor of Ganley’s dedication to serving the community as a police officer, police chief and town manager.

And despite skepticism that such an event wouldn’t be successful, 25 years later the award continues to be presented.  “The inaugural Ganley luncheon was totally sold out,” said George Khoury. Every year the tradition continues.  Presented by the Ganley family, the award is given to a community-minded individual, recognizing leadership, dedication, and concern for the greater Salem community.

Salem Co-operative Bank President Ann Lally was chosen as this year’s Ganley Community Service Award recipient.

“The work you do here is incredibly important to all of us,” said Governor Maggie Hassan on Monday during the luncheon.  “You really are carrying out your work and your life just the way Chief Ganley did.”

During his introduction of Lally at the luncheon, the chief’s son William Ganley said:  “She is an intelligent woman who has worked her way to the top in one of the most successful financial institutions in the state.”  Ann’s accounting, banking and business skills have guided many non-profit groups struggling to make ends meet while fulfilling their missions.

Ganley spoke about some of Lally’s community service efforts:  past chief volunteer officer and treasurer of the Salem Boys & Girls Club, the club’s auction chair and capital campaign co-chair, golf tournament committee member, Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce Hidden Jewel award creation committee member, chamber treasurer, trustee for Dollars for Scholars, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation regional board member, and a driving force in establishing the Salem Community Benefit, Salem Co-operative Bank’s charitable arm.

“I can personally attest that she knows how to get things done,” Ganley said.

Three different people separately nominated Lally, Ganley said, reading part of her nomination from George Khoury.  “I can think of no one that fits the high standards required of that honor than Ann,” he said.  Ann has opened up her heart and rolled up her sleeves countless times on behalf of serving area youngsters. She has shown a lifelong commitment to the children of greater Salem.

Lally accepted the award, thanking her family and co-workers for support.  “I have tried my whole life to extend a helping hand or a word of encouragement or advice when asked,” she said.  “This award is truly one that I will treasure.”

Just as Chief Ganley knew the importance of the Boys & Girls Club, Lally volunteers much time to support it.  “My motto has always been ‘It’s for the children,’” she said.

Lally’s dedication to the club was demonstrated after she accepted the award.  Emcee Michael Collins said Lally had obtained front row Green Monster seats to the Red Sox home opener, but couldn’t attend since the game was during the annual auction setup night.  Lally decided the tickets should be used as a fundraiser for the club and they were auctioned off for $1,000 after lunch.

The event marked 26 years since Chief Ganley was laid to rest, Khoury said.