NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Diversity Committee held their third annual Ladies Tea this Sunday to celebrate Women’s History Month at the DeCorso Center. Over a hundred residents came to sip tea and listen to speeches by NJ State Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz and Dr. Christine Masterson, a gynecologist at Summit Medical Group. Guests were encouraged to bring their own teacup and there were light refreshments served.

Christine Morgan, who chaired the event, wanted to thank the New Providence Diversity Committee, the Mayor, the Borough Council and the Lions Club for their constant support, “so that we can continue to provide these really important events and help spread diversity and make our community very inclusive, warm and welcoming to everyone.”  Mayor Morgan spoke about the different point of view that women bring, “It’s a great asset to a mayor to have that different point of view, we all learn different things as we go through life, but women are much more compassionate on a long term scale.”

Sunil Abrol, the chairman of the Diversity Committee honored Marjan Nirou-Saniee, president of NP Public Art as this year’s special honoree. The Diversity Committee chooses one woman each year to dedicate the event to.  Nirou-Saniee has been instrumental in bringing outdoor sculptures to New Providence strengthening the cultural and artistic aspects of our community. Nirou-Saniee is a resident artist in New Providence. Her work has been exhibited in the tri-state area as well as the west coast. Nirou-Saniee has been creating and promoting public art in New Providence for five years. “The committee voted unanimously to honor Marjan, she has done great work over many years and has been the real moving force with the pubic art group. We are honored to present her this award,” said Abrol.

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Special guest speaker, Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, represents New Providence in the 21st Legislative District and serves on the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Assembly Women and Children Committee and Legislative Services Commission, as well as the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.  She spoke about new legislation that would raise the age of marriage to 18, the stalking legislation she has introduced, a domestic violence bill she sponsored that was recently signed by Governor Christie and opioid abuse in New Jersey, “I believe in civility, I like to look across the aisle,” said Munoz who has brought more bipartisan bills than anyone in the legislature, “I believe in working across the aisle to do what’s right for the people because everything we talked about today contributes to the overall health of women, children and families and that’s what is important.”

Special guest speaker, Dr. Christine Masterson, is an active Obstetrician & Gynecologist in the community and the Chief of the Women and Children service line at Summit Medical Group.  Dr. Masterson entered private practice and joined Summit Medical Group in 2006. “”It is important for us to remember the important accomplishments of strong women leaders who have gone before us which pave the way for the accomplishments of women today,” said Masterson.

This year the committee chose Kate Hearn and Olivia Torsiello to be the event hostesses; they officiated the tea and introduced the speakers. Girl Scouts from Allen Roberts fourth grade Troop 40140 researched famous women in history and found inspirational quotes to create the beautiful  centerpieces for the Ladies Tea celebrating Women's History Month.  There were also displays showcasing a sampling of local culture, art, business, and services, provided, owned, operated, or serviced by women in New Providence.

Exhibits included The New Providence Historical Society, a Chinese tea tasting and calligraphy demonstration, New Providence family counselor Amy Flavin, New Providence Public Art, the Victory Garden Community Project and many more.