Dionne inducted to state Hall of Fame

Dionne inducted to state Hall of Fame

WOONSOCKET - He's served as president of the Woonsocket City Council and has been head of 11 different civic organizations. He was director of human services and of public safety, and now, residents can hear him every weekday from 2 to 4 p.m. on his own radio program on WNRI 1380.

John R. Dionne, also known as "Mr. Woonsocket," is one of nine Rhode Islanders selected for the Heritage Hall of Fame and is scheduled to be inducted next week at the organization's 50th annual ceremony.

"We chose Mr. Dionne because we like to give credit and attention to individuals who operate mainly on the local scene, but make extraordinary impact on the communities in which they live," said Patrick Conley, president of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Dionne is well known for his philanthropic and civic activities, but is most known for his dedication to the Milk Fund, an organization for which he served as chairman and co-chairman for 39 years. He has also served as president of 10 other organizations, served on the board of directors for 10 nonprofits, and maintained active memberships in 13 civic, fraternal, and religious organizations.

"Including his leadership of the Milk Fund, John has served as chairman or co-chairman of 60 fundraising activities that have raised in excess of $3 million dollars for needy recipients," explained his Hall of Fame profile, written by Albert Beauparlant, who will be inducting Dionne at a ceremony next week.

An employee of Marquette Credit Union for 25 years, Dionne served as senior vice president of marketing and public relations, and president of Marquette Travel. His marketing and public relations portfolio was awarded a first place Golden Mirror Award by the National Credit Union Association. Dionne was also awarded the credit union's Dora Maxwell Award for community activities.

In 1988, Dionne Track and Field was named after the recipient honoring his charitable work.

Dionne served on the Woonsocket City Council for 10 years, including six as president. He also served as manager of the Board of Canvassers, director of human services, director of public safety, and administrative assistant to the mayor.

He has been married to wife Jeannine V. (Cote) Dionne for 51 years and has four children; Michelle, Elizabeth, Catherine, and John; and 12 grandchildren.

Also among those named to the inductee class of 2014 was Albert Klyberg of Lincoln, director emeritus of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Klyberg is an author, editor, professor and principle promoter of Rhode Island historical projects and programs and was a key figure in creation of the Heritage Harbor Foundation.

Inductees for 2014 include six living and three recently deceased Rhode Islanders. They will be honored during a ceremony on Saturday, April 26 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. The evening will begin with a 5 p.m. cocktail hour followed by dinner and entertainment. Tickets are $75 and must be purchased in advance by April 21 by calling Somravanh Litthisack at 401-556-6174.