ADELPHIA – The Zilinski Memorial Fund recently announced an urgent COVID-19 capital campaign to support wounded veterans and deployed soldiers.
“Our American veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) need us more than ever during this pandemic. The isolation of staying home without essential services and schedules has been especially difficult for our wounded veterans.
They need service dogs to give them purpose and protection, yet far too many of them remain on wait lists to receive this lifeline. Unfortunately, donations received by The Zilinski Memorial Fund for service dog sponsorships have dropped 80 percent during the pandemic and COVID-19 economy.
“As a result, we could only sponsor a small fraction of the service dogs we have sponsored in previous years. So that we can serve more of our American heroes, we are announcing an urgent COVID-19 capital campaign and asking for your help to continue our mission,” said Marion Zilinski, co-Founder and Board Member of The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.
“The needs of our deployed servicemen and servicewomen in foreign countries continue. Even when we receive donated items like deodorant, underwear, socks, tubes of shaving gel, razors, and other personal care items, The Fund must absorb the astronomical cost of shipping. Our troops simply cannot purchase these items in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. If organizations, like The Zilinski Memorial Fund, do not send them what they need, along with snacks like protein bars and Gatorade packets to help keep them properly fueled, soldiers must do without,” Zilinski added.
“The financial support of the public is urgently needed to give our soldiers who protect our freedom what they deserve,” Dennis Zilinski, co-Founder and Board Member of The Zilinski Memorial Fund said.
Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund was created and founded in 2006 to honor Lt. Dennis Zilinski who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005. The 23-year-old was a Middletown, New Jersey resident, a Christian Brothers Academy alumnus, and a distinguished West Point graduate. Dennis was a member of the 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division.
Since his untimely death, family and friends have united with the Memorial Fund to provide support to improve the morale and welfare of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. One of the main accomplishments of the Fund is sponsoring service dogs for disabled American veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. To date, the Memorial Fund has sponsored more than 100 service dogs.
Marion Zilinski said that around this time of year, “we are typically visiting schools and talking to groups of children who hold drives for personal care items and other necessities for our deployed troops. COVID-19 has put a stop to all the site visits, including those at some of our annual fundraisers at Christian Brothers Academy.”
She said fundraisers such as “Breakfast with Dennis” and “Pasta with Dennis” are regular events. “While we did hold a hybrid gala event in September with a virtual show, donations received were 70 percent less than at our gala in 2019. Coronavirus precautions forced limited attendance at the event and many large annual donations never materialized,” she added.
“Our Annual Run with Dennis at PNC Arts Center was also virtual this year. Indeed, the crisis has been a struggle for us, and we ask the public to give their most generous donation to The Zilinski Memorial Fund now,” Marion Zilinski said.
Monetary donations can be made at runwithdennis.org or mailed to Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 124, Adelphia, NJ 07710.