OCEAN COUNTY – The Brick Elks Lodge #2151 and the Tuesday Night Ladies Golf Club from Westlake Golf and Country Club have come together to partner with the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund to donate goods overseas to soldiers this holiday season.
The Brick Elks Lodge collected personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, deodorant, powder, lip balm, and soap. Other items like gum, candy, beef jerky, protein bars, and playing cards were also collected for deployed servicemen and servicewomen.
The Brick Elks Lodge held this collection in honor of Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II, a Middletown resident and graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft who was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005.
After donating the items, the Zilinski Memorial Fund mailed the boxes overseas with a monetary donation from the Tuesday Night Ladies Golf Club that covered postage.
The Brick Elks Lodge made this donation in memory of Dr. Edward Brenner, who lived in Westlake. Dr. Brenner passed away after his battle with cancer due to the chemical Agent Orange, which he was exposed to during his service in the military during the Vietnam War.
“We are incredibly touched that our friends and neighbors would choose to honor our son Dennis and Dr. Brenner – both American heroes – by improving the lives of our soldiers who are currently deployed. These men and women were so excited to get these boxes filled with personal items and treats. When you’re in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan, stores don’t exist where you can buy a toothbrush or a razor. Receiving these basic items and knowing people back home care about them, brought them much needed joy and holiday cheer,” said Marion Zilinski.
Packages sent from the Zilinski Memorial Fund have gone to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Romania, Kosovo, Kuwait, Korea, Guam, Germany, and the USS Princeton. It is important to note that 26 New Jersey Army National Guardsmen are currently deployed to some of these countries.
“Our service members are far away from their loved ones for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, and all the other special days of the year,” Elyse Russo, Exalted Ruler, Brick Elks Lodge #2151 said. “Showing them how much we appreciate their sacrifices is the least we can do. We are so proud of the meaningful work being done by the Zilinski Memorial Fund, and it truly is an honor to assist them with their efforts to improve morale among our soldiers. As long as there are Elks, we will never forget our troops and our veterans.”