Friends and family of late Mt. Pleasant Borough Assistant Police Chief Dan “Zill” Zilli are planning the third annual 5K memorial run/walk Oct. 7 to celebrate the veteran police officer’s life, but it will have a little different twist this year.
This year money raised from the event will go toward a scholarship for Greensburg Central Catholic High School freshman Gianna Bonesio of Greensburg, whose late father was Trooper Angelo Bonesio. Bonesio worked in Uniontown and Greensburg, according to event organizer Jason Dieter, a Greensburg police officer. Bonesio died in 2014.
In prior years, the event which has drawn several hundred participants each year, benefited Zilli’s 12-year-old daughter, Giancinta.
“Dan always enjoyed helping other people and organizers felt Dan would have appreciated an event held in his name benefitting another area youth who lost her father who had also worked in law enforcement,” Dieter said. “It’s definitely a worthy cause.”
For the second straight year, Dieter, who worked 13 years with Zilli in Mt. Pleasant, said the run will be headquartered at Roosevelt Hall, at 2325 Mt. Pleasant Road in Mt. Pleasant Township.
Zilli died May 2, 2016, at his Greensburg home at the age of 46.
Dieter noted Zilli forged many relationships while he was a member of the countywide drug task force, the Westmoreland County Police Chiefs’ Association, and South Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department, as well as through his work with the Reality Tour drug program that benefits area youths.
“Dan made a lot of friends, not only me, and he forged a lot of good relationships over the years through his work. These events are a lot of work, but its really worthwhile helping out kids,” Dieter said.
Registration for the race will begin at 7 a.m. inside the hall and ends at 8:30 a.m. The cost is currently $25 plus a $2.50 registration fee, but increases to $30 per person after Sept. 30.
Awards will be given to the top three finishers in various age groups.
In addition to the run, Dieter noted there are plenty of activities for people who don’t plan to run including an interactive area for children, an auction of donated gift baskets, a 50/50 raffle, and a police dog demonstration.
Food is being provided by Rizzo’s Malabar Inn, Poulish Pit Barbeque, Ferrante’s Lakeview Lounge and Edible Arrangements.
Registration can be completed online at runsignup.com/race/pa/mount pleasant/zilmemorialrun .
Anyone interested in volunteering, donating a gift basket or seeking details may email [email protected] or call 724-433-8414.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.