For the members of Middletown Reformed Church, it still seems like yesterday when the shocking news started to hit the tight-knit community, shaking it to the core. Though ten years has passed, the impact of Lieutenant Dennis W. Zilinski’s death has not diminished. A beloved member of the congregation and youth group at the church, the intense pain of Dennis’ passing in 2005 is still so fresh to many, it seems.
While the news of his death was devastating to his family, friends, and the community-at-large, those who loved and cared for him established the Lieutenant Dennis Zilinski Youth Group Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2006 to honor his memory and to pay tribute to the way in which his lived his life — a life that embodied the values of service to God and Church, service to country, service to his family and service to his community. Established through the leadership and dedication of Jo-Ann LoSapio and her son Christopher, the scholarship fund committee hosts fundraising events to support scholarships to youth group members who are entering college, furthering their higher education or entering the military.
On Saturday, May 16, the Middletown Reformed Church Youth Memorial Scholarship Committee will host “Dancing With Dennis,” an event which will raise money for youth scholarships, honor the lasting legacy of Lieutenant Zilinski, pay tribute to veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and recognize members of Gold Star Mothers. The event, which will be held from 6-10 pm at VFW Post 2179 in Port Monmouth, ill feature a buffet dinner and cash bar.