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Recognizing Mr. Ernie Dillon

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky

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Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I congratulate one of the most selfless and caring citizens of the First Congressional District of Indiana, Mr. Ernie Dillon. Ernie has dedicated his life to serving the people of Northwest Indiana. His career as a public servant has allowed him the opportunity to touch the lives of numerous people. In honor of his faithful service to his alma mater, Hammond Tech High School, Ernie will be recognized by the Hammond Tech Appreciation Society for his dedication to their mission at a recognition dinner on September 12, 2004 at Dynasty Banquets in Hammond, Indiana.

Ernie Dillon has held many offices and positions throughout his career as a public servant. He is currently the Director of the Lake County Department of Veterans Affairs Service Office and Chairman of the Hammond Port Authority. Prior to that, he was elected Councilman-at-Large for the City of Hammond. While on the Council, Ernie served as Vice-President and Chairman of the Finance Committee, overseeing a budget of $95 million. Ernie has also served the City of Hammond as Commissioner of the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Along with the countless hours of dedication that Ernie has provided to the people of Northwest Indiana, he has also been involved with many organizations in the community. Ernie has been a longtime member and past Commander of American Legion Victory Post #168, and he is currently serving a second term as Vice Chairman for the State of Indiana Veterans Homeless Committee. Ernie has also been a committed member of the Calumet College Alumni Association, the Hammond Central Lions Club, the Hammond Elks, the Hammond Jaycees, the Hammond Kiwanis Club, the Hammond Moose Club, and he has also been a member of the T.K.E. Fraternity.

I have known Ernie for many years and I can truly say that he is a dedicated, distinguished and committed citizen. Through his loyal service to his community, Ernie has been responsible for the development of numerous programs and activities, which have become sources of pride for the people he has served. As a dedicated member of the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, Ernie was instrumental in designing and bringing the Indiana Welcome Center to Hammond, Indiana. Ernie's foresight also enabled him to found the City of Hammond's first city festival, Octoberfest, in 1979. This later became the Augustfest and is now known as the Festival of the Lakes. This festival continues to provide entertainment to residents and visitors of Hammond.

While Ernie has dedicated a considerable amount of time and energy to his community, he has never limited the time he gives to his most important interest, his family. Ernie and his wife Margie have four children, Steven, Lori, Elizabeth, and Kathleen. They are also the proud grandparents of Elija, Korey, and Faith.

Mr. Speaker, Ernie has given his time and efforts selflessly to the people of Lake County throughout his years of service. He has taught the true meaning of service to all members of the Northwest Indiana community. I respectfully ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in congratulating Mr. Ernie Dillon for his outstanding contributions to Indiana's First Congressional District. I am proud to commend him for his lifetime of service and dedication.