Brick Elks Lodge and Jackson Ladies Golf Group
Partner with Zilinski Memorial Fund to Bring Holiday Cheer to Deployed Soldiers
December 2, 2020, Jackson, New Jersey – Two organizations in Ocean County, Brick Elks Lodge #2151 and the Tuesday Night Ladies Golf Club from Westlake Golf and Country Club in Jackson, rallied together to support our soldiers overseas this holiday season in a partnership with the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.
The Brick Elks Lodge collected needed supplies and assorted goodies for deployed servicemen and servicewomen. The personal care items collected included toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, deodorant, powder, lip balm, and soap. The goodies included gum, candy, beef jerky, protein bars, and playing cards. The collection by the Brick Elks Lodge was 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.
The Zilinski Memorial Fund mailed the boxes overseas with a monetary donation from the Tuesday Night Ladies Golf Club that covered postage. The donation by the Brick Elks Lodge was made in memory of Dr. Edward Brenner, who lived in Westlake and passed away after his valiant battle with cancer which was caused by Agent Orange. Dr. Brenner was exposed to the chemical compound during his service in the military during the Vietnam War.
Dennis’ mother and father, Marion and Dennis Zilinski, Co-Founders and Board Members of the Zilinski Memorial Fund, also live in the golf community in Jackson. “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.
Elyse Russo, Exhalted Ruler, Brick Elks Lodge #2151, added, “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. 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.”
More About the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund
The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund was created and founded in 2006 to honor local hero Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005. The twenty-three-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 Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial 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.
Additionally, the Memorial Fund provides scholarships to students at Lt. Zilinski’s alma mater, Christian Brothers Academy and Trinity Hall High School, both in New Jersey. By providing these scholarships, the Memorial Fund invests in the future of high school students who embody the leadership qualities and community spirit of Lt. Zilinski.
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