Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund Second Annual K9 Sgt. Denny Dog Walk

WHAT:  K9 Sgt. Denny Dog Walk to support military working dogs and service dogs for wounded warriors. Demonstrations by military working dogs and police department K9’s. Special awards for most patriotic costume, biggest, smallest, farthest traveled, most unique. Please bring an item or two for our military working dogs and our two-legged warriors! Pre-event registration is $25 per dog; day-of-event registration is $30 per dog.

WHEN:  Saturday, May 10 (rain or shine). Registration – 8:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony – 9:45 a.m. Dog Walk begins – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: NJ Army Guard Training Center, Camp Drive and Sea Girt Avenue, Sea Girt, NJ 08750-0277

HOW: Tickets are available at www.runwithdennis.org or by calling (732) 431-1713.

WHO: Presented by the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund & the Middletown Lion’s Club. Founders Marion and Dennis Zilinski will be on hand, as well as Beverly Scarano and Larry Caminiti from the Middletown Lions Club.   

WHY: The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund provides care and support for those serving our country and their families. The SGT. DENNY PROJECT provides support for military working dogs and their handlers with hard-to-obtain items to support the training and welfare of these canine heroes. It also supports the training and placement of service dogs for our wounded warriors.

The program is named for SGT. Denny, a two-year-old German Shepherd that was stationed in Afghanistan with his handler Michael Brozowski, a Monmouth County native. SGT. Denny is a trained military working dog who can detect chemicals used in the manufacture of bombs and can sniff out 123 different types of explosives.  Military working dogs are also trained to sniff out narcotics and/or track humans.

Nearly 600 military dogs are serving today in Afghanistan and the world. Much is made of the bond among soldiers, but the union between soldier and dog in a combat zone is just as tight. Handlers and canines patrol together, day after day, linked by a leash and an innate understanding of each other. Sometimes they sleep side by side on military cots and they face the same dangers together. Military dogs in Afghanistan die as a result of attacks, heat exhaustion, and other causes.

For those returning home from combat, the transition back into society can be overwhelming. The hyper-vigilance and hyper-reactivity to situations, sensations, sounds, and smells that kept them alive in the war zone often continue despite the peace of civilian life.  Service dogs are trained to help wounded warriors, with many of the fight or flight reactions and health issues they face upon returning home from combat. Funds raised from this event will go toward purchasing dogs from K9s for Warriors and Canine Companions for Independence.  All of these service dogs are ADA approved and certified.

For more information, please visit www.runwithdennis.org or email RunwithDennis@yahoo.com.

About the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund

The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial was created and founded in 2006 in order to honor Lt. Zilinski’s memory and spirit for life.  The first Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Run/Walk was held in November of 2006.  All proceeds of the run/walk sponsor programs for injured soldiers and to fund scholarships to Lt. Zilinski’s alma mater, Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft.  The fund provides support to improve the morale and welfare of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Additionally, by providing scholarships, the fund invests in the future of high school students who embody the leadership qualities and community spirit of Lt. Zilinski.

Additional donations may be sent to: Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733.