PARADE GRAND MARSHAL
Kathleen "Kiki" Finn
Kathleen "Kiki" Finn was born in Newport, RI. She is the daughter of the late James P. Whitford and Eleanor O’Connor Whitford. She has one brother, Timothy Whitford and three sisters, Barbara Nass, Mary Martin, and Jane Vincelette. Kiki was raised in the Fifth Ward and continues to reside in her family’s Eastnor Road homestead.
While growing up in the Fifth Ward, Kiki attended local schools like Carey, St. Augustin’s, Thompson and Rogers. She graduated from Rogers in 1976 and, in addition to coordinating many class reunions, is a member of the Rogers High School Alumni Association. In 1991 Kiki received a BS in Accounting from Salve Regina University.
Kiki was married to the late Thomas J. Finn. She has three children Patrick, Brigid and the late Molly Finn.
She is the Chief Administrative Officer at SEA CORP where she has been employed for the past sixteen years
Kiki is involved with a myriad of civic organizations. A past president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Kiki was one of a dozen women who helped to revitalize the organization over the past ten years and remains an active member, chairing various committees. She served as treasurer for the Gooseberry Beach Board of Directors and on committees for the Peter J. O’Neill Scholarship Fund and the Fifth Ward Square Dedication. Additionally, she is a member of the Newport Elks BPO 104, the Newport Irish Heritage Association, Save the Bay, Seaman’s Church Institute, Aquidneck Land Trust, and the Rhode Island Light House Foundation.
In 2007 Kiki cofounded the Molly Finn Battle of the Bands with Friends of Ballard Park. The event, named for her daughter, encourages local youth to follow their musical aspirations by providing opportunities to perform and network with area music executives. Kiki also enjoys being an active participant in the Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour each Fall.
Kiki is an engaged member of Saint Augustin’s Church Parish serving as a Eucharistic Minister and volunteering at the Church’s Christmas Bazaar manning their "Luck of the Irish" table.
Over the years, Kiki has volunteered at numerous Newport Irish Heritage Month events including the Irish Tea hosted by the Newport Irish Heritage Association and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernian Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner which raises money for the Brigid Kelly Irish Dance Scholarship Fund. Kiki has worked at every Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Roast since 2003 with the exception of 2005, the year her brother-in-law Stephen Martin was roasted, because she was out of town. The kitchen crew will miss her efforts and spirit today.
In her spare time Kiki can be seen out and about with her "Partner in Crime" of 14 years, Ed McWeeney. They both enjoy supporting the numerous charitable golf tournaments and fund raisers that Newport is so fortunately known for. She also enjoys spending time with her lifelong friends, the "YAYA’s", also known as Marnie Jewell, Mary Martin and Renie Sullivan at Gooseberry Beach and cruising in the YAYA Mobile.
The Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is proud to name Kathleen “Kiki” Finn as our 2009 Grand Marshal and is pleased to give her the honor of leading the 53rd Annual Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
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