Capt. Gorham Lilly, a volunteer firefighter in Dresden for nearly 60 years, was recognized as a “Hometown Hero” during a ceremony at Pownalborough Hall in Dresden on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
The Modern Woodmen of America Hometown Heroes Program bestowed the honor.
“This is an award for all the things you do for your community,” said Jean McGuigan, of Modern Woodmen of America Youth Service Club No. 7765-1.
She presented Lilly with a $50 certificate for donation to a charity of his choice and a Matchbox fire truck.
The Modern Woodmen of America is a member-owned fraternal financial services organization that engages in many youth outreach programs.
Two of Lilly’s grandsons, Spencer Lilly and Liam Aarons, are members of the Woolwich-based youth service club.
McGuigan said the organization will also match the $500 raised by the Dresden Fire Department’s Grill Masters food stand at the annual Dresden Summerfest on July 14.
In 1962, Lilly started a long tradition of firefighting in his family when he joined the Dresden Fire Department as a volunteer while still in middle school. He has served as a captain for about 30 years.
Since 1962, nine members of the Lily family, spanning three generations, have served or continue to serve on the department.
Gorham Lilly’s son, Steve Lilly, currently serves as fire chief, and Steve Lilly’s wife, Sonia Lilly, is on the department. Gorham Lilly’s brother, Gerald Lilly, and Gerald Lilly’s wife, Susan Bickford-Lilly, also currently serve on the department.
Gorham Lilly’s wife, Sharon Lilly, was a Dresden Firette and is now the secretary and treasurer of the nonprofit association affiliated with the fire department.
For more information about the local Modern Woodmen youth service club, contact McGuigan at 380-1803.