On May 22, 2018 Morris County Clerk Ann F. Grossi held the third annual Cecilia “Cissy” Laureys Senior Volunteer Award Ceremony at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.

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The Cissy Laureys Award for outstanding community service recognizes one deserving citizen for his or her outstanding community service to the constituencies that Cissy Laureys championed. “I am happy to celebrate Older Americans Month by holding this annual ceremony in honor of Cissy’s lifetime of dedicated service,” said County Clerk Grossi.

Nineteen Morris County municipalities each nominated an outstanding citizen for consideration for this year’s award.

East Hanover’s nominee and winner of the 2018 Cissy Laureys Senior Volunteer Award was 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. A highlight of this program is the annual pool party she hosts. In 1978, she joined forces with Tom Rinaldi as a volunteer on the Recreation Commission and helped organize programs for children and seniors in the community, and their mission lives on today with the Hanover Recreation Department. She has delivered meals-on-wheels, was part of the Hanover Park High School scholarship committee and the DARE program. Rita has been an officer and member of the St. Rose of Lima Rosary Altar Society, caring for altar linens, hand sewing baptismal cloths, making pizza for the schoolchildren and singing in the choir. Most recently she has been involved with the Ralph Politi Jr. Memorial Foundation, a non­profit set up in memory of her son, Ralph Jr., that awards scholarships to qualifying high school seniors both at Hanover Park and Whippany Park High Schools, and that also provides support to many organizations, charities and community members in need. At 89 years young, married to Ralph Senior for 67 years, mother of 9, with 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild to keep her busy, she always finds time for her church and community and for demonstrating compassion and service.

Speakers included Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi, Sheriff James Gannon, Freeholder Deborah Smith and Detective Patrick LaGuerre from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Also in attendance was East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo.

Photos and details about each nominee in attendance can also be found on the Morris County Clerk’s Facebook page at