On December 6, Christian Brothers Academy and Trinity Hall’s students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters teamed up once again for the 10th annual Dinner for the Troops. “This event has become a proud CBA tradition that continues to inspire each and every SADD member,” said Dominic Esposito ‘18, Community Service Chair and member of CBA SADD. Each year, the event epitomizes what the holidays are all about: gratitude and goodwill towards others. Convening in the CBA cafeteria, students handled all the preparations and cooking for 240 attendees, while raising over $7,500 in the process. All funds raised will go towards supporting servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas. The evening also featured guest speaker Sgt. Melissa Leist, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, who shared her thoughts on military service.
Under the supervision of SADD moderator Mr. Frake, the event was almost exclusively run by student volunteers. While there was plenty of fun to be had, the academy men knew they were working towards an important dual purpose. “We often see war reported on TV as some distant event in some distant place,” said Dominic Sepko, a CBA senior and president of CBA SADD. “Dennis [Zilinski] and his impact on the lives of the people around him showed that the troops overseas are often closer to home than we might think. We owe it to those defending our freedoms to make every effort possible to try to help them as best we can.”
LT Dennis W. Zilinski II ’00 was a CBA and West Point alumnus, killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2005. The event is held in his honor each year and his memory lives on in the academy tradition. This event also continues the CBA community’s commitment to service during the holiday season. Other major endeavors include the Thanksgiving Food Drive, which collected over 22,000 non-perishable food items for local food banks this year, the Winter Coat drive, and the school’s continued collaboration with Holiday Express for their annual Christmas Party for students with special needs, held this year on December 15.