County donates 118 boxes of care packages to Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund

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Monmouth County donated 118 boxes of care packages to the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund, a local nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the morale and welfare of members of the United States armed forces as well as their families.

The effort was spearheaded by Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, according to a press release from the county.

“I am extremely proud to have partnered up with the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund for the second year in a row,” Burry said. “The drive was made successful by the donations and support of the residents of Monmouth County. We hope these gestures of gratitude will brighten the holidays for our armed forces who are stationed overseas.”

The county-wide drive collected food, drinks, snacks, personal care items and more using collection boxes that were set up at several Monmouth County buildings, according to the press release.

The supplies were assembled into care packages with handwritten notes of gratitude from Burry, as well as from students in the ROTC programs at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology and Colts Neck High School, representatives from the New Jersey State Police, Coast Guard and the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund.

“The dedication from the students in the ROTC programs has been a true testament in our efforts to aid the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund,” Burry said. “They collected items, wrote letters to our armed forces, assembled care packages and helped load the packages into boxes.”

The boxes of care packages were shipped out to troops stationed overseas and will be delivered in time for the holiday season, according to the press release.

“We are so grateful to everyone in Monmouth County who helped keep the memory of my son alive by participating in this drive and making it so successful,” said Marion Zilinski, co-founder of the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund.

“We would like to thank Freeholder Burry for her leadership and support. We hope this effort inspires other counties all over New Jersey to follow Monmouth County’s lead and run their own donation project. I know my son would be so proud of all that this donation drive accomplished,” she said.

The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund was founded in 2006 to honor the life and memory of Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, who was one of four American soldiers killed by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Bayii, Iraq, on Nov. 12, 2005.