Accepting an award for volunteerism, Joen Luy Ferrari on Wednesday did what she does best:
“I thank everyone else that has helped me along the way, because I have a habit of dragging people along with me,” Ferrari joked after Mayor Jeff Grayzel handed her Morris Township’s Community Service Award, a new monthly honor he introduced upon taking office this month.
Grayzel praised Ferrari for her “selfless and untiring work” for numerous charities, nonprofits, and for the Township.
“I myself have found that volunteering is a win-win thing,” said Ferrari, a retired AT&T manager who moved to Greater Morristown 30 years ago. Her parents were volunteers, she explained, and so are her grown children.
Video: Morris Township honors Joen Luy Ferrari:
By her count, Ferrari is a member of five boards. But that hardly scratches the surface of her résumé.
Over the years, Ferrari has helped the United Way, the P.G. Chambers School, the Mental Health Association of Morris County, Dress for Success Morris County (founding president), First Night Morris, Historic Speedwell and the Friends of Historic Speedwell.
Additionally, she has volunteered with the Morris Museum, Morris Arts, the American Red Cross Northwestern Chapter (she was instrumental in merging several chapters), the Colonial Symphony and the Morris County Tourism Bureau.
And then there was Morristown’s Community Theatre (before it became the Mayo Performing Arts Center) and the New Jersey chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters.
Of course, nobody–not even Joen Ferrari–can go it alone. Which brings us back to… recruiting.
“I give you all my personal invitation. If you have time or you have funding…
connect yourself with one of the nonprofits that you feel passionate about,” Ferrari said.
“You have to have passion about their cause in order to get dedicated and then pull yourself into them. But do that, because it doesn’t take very much time. And you can accomplish an awful lot.”
It’s a persuasive pitch, attested Committteeman Peter Mancuso, describing Ferrari as an inspiration.
“I remember I was chairman of the board of the Morris Museum back in 1998,” Mancuso recounted. “You asked me if I could help you on a project. And I’m still helping you on that project!”