Zinnia wears her crown. (Photo provided)
Zinnia wears her crown. (Photo provided)

This pooch is going to prom!

Zinnia, the well-known therapy dog whom the Bishop Maginn High School students helped train as a puppy, has been named honorary prom queen and it all happened with a little help - make that a lot of help - from her owner Jon Katz.

Katz, who has had a long relationship helping Maginn students through his “Army of Good,” helped buy decorations through an Amazon Wish List for the senior banquet on Friday, June 11, which is replacing prom this year.


Because of their dedication to the school, Zinnia, who was first chronicled in The Evangelist in December of 2019 as Maginn students were helping train her as a therapy dog during Katz’s writing class, was named honorary prom queen by the seniors who dedicated the yearbook to Katz and his “army.”


It makes perfect sense for Katz and Zinnia. Katz founded the “army” after the 2016 election and the political turbulence that followed. “I watched political sniping going on all the time and I have no desire to be a part of that and neither do many other people out there,” Katz told the Evangelist back in 2019. Made up of Katz’s three million readers that annually visit his blog — bedlamfarm.com — they all share a common mission: to do good rather than argue about what good means. When first founded, Katz and his army focused its mission on The Mansion at South Union, a Medicaid-assisted care facility in Cambridge.


But they have been a crucial presence at Maginn. Last year, when the school went to distance learning because of the coronavirus, within four days the army raised enough money for 27 laptops for children who didn’t have a home computer. A few weeks later, when he heard that some students weren’t getting enough to eat, the army sprang into action and over $16,000 in Price Chopper gift cards were mailed to students and their families, many of whom are first-generation immigrants.