HUMANITARIAN AWARD

The Frank & Angela Donio Family

Frank G. Donio (Posthumously), Angela L. Donio, Fr. Frank S. Donio, S.A.C., John S. Donio & James M. Donio

The Frank and Angela Donio Family has demonstrated what it means to build communities that thrive. The family traces their roots to the Molise, Basilicata, Campania, and Calabria regions of Southern Italy. Their story in America begins in the late 19th Century, in Hammonton, New Jersey, a town that boasts one of the highest percentages of Italian Americans in the United States. During more than five decades of marriage, Angela and Frank were involved in a wide variety of philanthropic efforts, supporting religious organizations, educational initiatives, and civic change – setting a strong example for all their sons.

While raising the boys into capable men, Angela has been a passionate advocate for revitalization and conservation. A member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 1978, the transformational growth of Downtown Hammonton is the direct result of her leadership. Until his death in 2011, Frank, a trailblazer in the produce industry, found time to quietly support individuals and organizations, asking nothing in return. Catholic religious communities of Sisters were among his favorite groups, ensuring that they had what they needed “to do their good work.”

Their eldest, Father Frank, lives a life in service to the Catholic Church. He is a priest in the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers, a religious community founded in Rome whose first ministry in the United States was to serve Italian immigrants. Father Frank affects change through innovations in faith education, urban pastoral work, and spiritual mentorship.

John is a hotelier leading the resurgence of Wildwood, New Jersey. He supports the arts and spearheads efforts for the homeless and underprivileged in Cape May and Atlantic Counties. John continues the family legacy of philanthropy with his son Frank, daughter Ella, and fiancé, Jeanene.

Jim has focused his attention in the last 25 years on the renaissance of Hammonton, including his founding and leadership of the Eagle Theatre. A recent recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Jefferson Award for his community service, Jim and his wife Kelly include their three children, Matthew, Juliet, and Amelia in their volunteer work, shaping the future for which Angela and Frank laid the groundwork.