HOLMDEL – The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund, whose mission is to continue to serve and assist returning men and women who were wounded in service to our nation, is holding a baseball/picnic outing at the Blue Claws Ballpark in Lakewood, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, in celebration of Military Appreciation Night.
This year, the fund will be collecting items for the troops. Suggested donations include personal hygiene items, white crew socks, sports bras, men’s and women’s underwear, snacks, magazines, books, tobacco chew, baby wipes, eye moisturizing drops, blank greeting cards for the soldiers to send to their families for occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, telephone calling cards, video games and sports equipment.
Letters and notes from home and any items that people can think of to send the troops would be appreciated.
Spray cans will not be accepted.
This year, as a part of OceanFirst Bank’s Home Run for Heroes program, the 3rd inning of the ballgame has been designated to the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund. For each home run hit by the Blue Claws at a home game, OceanFirst will donate $1,000 to the fund.
“Our mission is to continue to serve and assist returning men and women called to serve our country,” Dennis Zilinski Sr. said. “We have had some excellent support in the past and look forward to seeing people from the area come out and enjoy a great day of baseball while supporting our troops.”
Since last year’s event, the fund has made donations to: Hope for the Warriors (hand-cycle bikes for the wounded); Jersey Shore Marines; AMB Surf; Adopt-A-Soldier Platoon; NJ Run for the Fallen; a local airman from McGuire Air Force Base; 508th MP Unit from N.J.; a wounded warrior in Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and the purchase of three service dogs to assist wounded warriors suffering from PTSD and/or TBI injuries.
The fund also has collected and shipped more than 1,600 pounds of items to military working dogs in Afghanistan and assisted in shipping more than 2,000 pounds of items sent to deployed service personnel.
The memorial fund was founded by family and friends to honor Lt. Dennis Zilinski, who grew up in Middletown and died in Iraq in November 2005 as a result of a roadside bombing.
Tickets for the baseball game and picnic are $30 per adult, $20 per child (under 4 are free) and include game admission, hamburgers and hot dogs, pulled pork, salads, soft drinks and sides.
Corporate sponsorships for the event are also available and welcome.
Additional information, including tickets, sponsorship opportunities and applications, is available by visiting www.runwithdennis.org or emailing to RunwithDennis@yahoo.com.