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HomeLocal NewsParsippany resident Joyce Garrow honored with Cecilia G. "Cissy" Laureys' Award

Parsippany resident Joyce Garrow honored with Cecilia G. “Cissy” Laureys’ Award

MORRIS COUNTY — In May 2015, County Clerk Ann F. Grossi established the annual Cecilia G. “Cissy” Laureys’ Award, in honor of Older Americans Month.

This year the award was celebrated with a ceremony at Frelinghuysen Arboretum on Tuesday, May 22.

While serving as Morris County Freeholder and later as a member of the Netcong Borough Council, Cecilia G. “Cissy” Laureys was known for her tireless dedication to human services, assisting the County’s senior citizens, those with addiction or mental health issues and others less fortunate. She wanted to make sure that every member of the public had a voice and was represented, regardless of their social status. Cissy was a public servant Morris County elected officials as well as members of Cissy Laureys’ family in its purest sense of the word, so it was only attended the award ceremony held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum on May 3rd. fitting that the award should bear her name. The Cecilia G. “Cissy” Laureys Award will be presented every May, during Older Americans Month, to an individual that goes above and beyond for Morris County’s senior citizens.

Parsippany resident Joyce Garrow was among the honorees.

Joyce Garrow is a volunteer with the Retired Senior Volunteers Program teaching Healthy Bones, an exercise program for senior citizens. She’s a member of the Parsippany Historical Society and has been on the Friends of the Library Committee. As a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, Joyce supports and oversees the activities of the Aktion Club, providing adults with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills, and the chance to serve their communities. In 2013, Joyce received the “Tablet of Honor” award from Kiwanis International for having exemplified “dedicated service to Kiwanis, her club, community, or mankind.”

This years honorees in addition to Joyce Garrow from Parsippany; Harry Radell from Butler; from Chatham Borough, Kate Murphy; Dolores Yurkovic from Chester Township’s Senior Resource Center; Charlene Sozansky from the Florham Park Seniors Club; George F. Coppola from the Hanover Township Senior Citizen’s Club; Edna Deacon from Mine Hill and the Township First Aid Squad; Marianna Quagliano from the Morris Township Senior Club; President  Judy Loughridge from The Mount Arlington Seniors; Pastor Matt Jones,Senior Pastor of Mountaintop Church, from Mount Olive Township; Rosemary Phalon from Pequannock, from Randolph; Clyde Copeland from Randolph;James Vialard from the Rockaway, Marcella and Denville Memorial Association; Robin Ghebreal from Wharton; Rita Politi from Friends of East Hanover.

Laureys had a “superior intellect” and “an oversized heart,” said County Administrator John Bonanni, who was the county’s director of human services when Laureys was a freeholder and served as the board’s liaison to the human services department. “In many aspects, she is responsible for the quality of human services we have today,” Bonanni said, citing Laureys’ efforts in mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and youth services. “She had a dedication that was unparalleled.”

Laureys, who was serving her 25th year on the Netcong Council when she died, “initiated our recycling program before recycling was even required,” recalled Mayor Joseph Nametko. “If Cissy had something on her agenda and she wanted to get it done, she got it done,” Nametko said. Laureys, the mother of 10 children, including two who predeceased her, was also remembered for her devotion to family and friends. “She had an amazing 81 years as the mother of 10 children and countless foster children,” her daughter, Margaret Laureys, said in a post on her Facebook page. “Politics for mom began at the kitchen table, literally. When she was a young housewife, with kids scampering about the kitchen, she talked on the phone as she did laundry, cooked dinner and started a volunteer church group. In 1970, she started an organization that to this day provides rides for the poor and the infirm and is entirely operated by volunteers,” Margaret Laureys said. Her brother, Christopher Laureys, said their mother began her career as an elementary school teacher and “always thought of everybody but herself. She spent her whole life thinking about her kids, and when she got a little older, she had a chance to go out and do things in a bigger way.” “She didn’t shy away from a fight and she always thought about the greater good,” he added.

The names of all recipients of the award will be featured on a perpetual plaque that hangs in the lobby of the Morris County Clerk’s Office.

The winner of the 2018 Cissy Laureys Senior Volunteer Award, from Friends of East Hanover, Rita Politi
For over 40 years now Rita Politi has been an active volunteer with the “Friends of East Hanover,” a non-profit organization that helps special needs children and adults in the community.
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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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