Richelieu International is a service club similar to Lions, Kiwanis or Rotary Clubs. It is officially recognized as the service Club of the Francophonie which is the assembly of all the French speaking countries of the world (there are 40 countries speaking French as a first or second language.)
All meetings are conducted in French. Founded in Ottawa in 1944, the movement came to the United Stated in 1955. Today, Richelieu International is firmly established in Canada, the United States,France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guiana, Martinque, Guadelupe, and Columbia.
Richelieu International tends to the development of its members' personalities and to the promotion of Francophone, humanitarian, cultural and social activites.
The Woonsocket Club of Richelieu International and the Franco-American Subcommittee of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission puts on the Governor Pothier French Heritage Award. From 1985 to 1998 the Franco-American Subcommittee awarded a Franco American of the Year Award to an individual who promote French heritage and culture through their work or in their lives.
In 1999 Club Richelieu assumed the sponsorship of this and renamed it the Governor Aram Pothier French Heritage Award. This award is awarded to a recipient who has represented diligent attention to this ideal.