Foundation Announced Winning Service Dog Name
for Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund
(TOMS RIVER, NJ – September 30, 2019) – OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River has awarded $38,000 in grants to fifteen charities from central and southern New Jersey that serve members of the United States Armed Forces and Veterans through its Home Runs for Heroes Program. The program, celebrating its eleventh year, is a partnership between OceanFirst Foundation, Townsquare Media and the Lakewood BlueClaws, a minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Home Runs for Heroes grants provide financial support to charities that support and meet the emergency basic needs of Veterans and local service men and women and their families during difficult times. The program ties each charity partner to an inning and every home run hit by the BlueClaws at First Energy Park this past season during the charity’s designated inning earned them a $1,000 donation.
"The 2019 season was a great success and we’re delighted that the BlueClaws hit 38 home runs resulting in a $38,000 donation by OceanFirst Foundation. This brings our eleven year total awarded through Home Runs for Heroes to $376,000. We thank the BlueClaws organization and Townsquare Media for giving us the opportunity to work together to bring much needed relief to local military families with special needs," said Katherine Durante, Executive Director of OceanFirst Foundation.
On Friday, September 27, 2019, executives from OceanFirst Foundation hosted an event at OceanFirst Headquarters, 110 W. Front Street, Red Bank, to personally present grants to the Home Runs for Heroes charity partners.
Grants were presented to: American National Red Cross - $3,000; Army Emergency Relief - $5,000; Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation - $1,000; Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton - $1,000; Citizens/Veterans Advisory Committee Inc. - $4,000; Chariot Riders Inc. - $1,000; Deborah Hospital Foundation - $3,000; GI Go Fund - $3,000; Jewish Family and Children Service of Southern NJ - $1,000; National Guard State Family Readiness Council - $1,000; Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund - $3,000; Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society - $5,000; Operation First Response, Inc. - $2,000; VetGroup Inc. - $3,000; and Veterans of Foreign Wars – Post 8867 - $2,000.
In recognition of its past generosity to the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund, OceanFirst Foundation was bestowed the honor of naming one of the charity’s sponsored service dogs that will support an injured Veteran. “We knew we wanted to share this honor with our OceanFirst team so we turned to them to help us name the service dog and received more than 100 suggestions. We took the top 5 names and asked our customers to help us make the final selection” stated by Katherine Durante, Executive Director of OceanFirst Foundation. The winning name announced at the event was HERO, a name befitting both the Veteran and service dog.
ABOUT THE OCEANFIRST FOUNDATION: Since its founding in 1902, OceanFirst Bank has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen. The Bank’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools and communities throughout central and southern New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations, reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of OceanFirst Foundation. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst market. Since its inception, OceanFirst Foundation has contributed in excess of 7,500 grants totaling more than $39 million to over 900 local charities throughout central and southern New Jersey.