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Sussex County Miners to commemorate 30th ballpark anniversary with charity auction for developmentally challenged

AUGUSTA, NJ, (Sussex County) – To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Skylands Park, Al Dorso, owner of Skylands Stadium and the Sussex County Miners, and Rob Hilliard, the ballpark’s founder and developer, are collaborating on a charity auction of Hilliard’s sports memorabilia.

Proceeds will benefit SCARC, an area non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and the non-profit University of Virginia Club of Northern NJ.

The auction is being held in two phases: an initial on-line phase, accessed via from April 16 to June 9, and an in-person “silent” phase at Skylands Stadium June 14 and 15, when the Frontier League’s Miners take on the Evansville Otters.

“What would Fathers’ Day weekend be without dad and his family attending a baseball game? In the northwest corner of New Jersey, the Sussex County Miners and Skylands Stadium are perfect together,” said Rob Hilliard, founder/developer of Skylands Park in Sussex County.

“I have always been community-oriented and believe in ‘paying it forward,’” said Hilliard. “My older son, Jeffrey, really came out of his social shell during our family’s years in Sussex County. He was part of SCARC’s clean-up crew at Skylands Park and became a good-luck charm for the ’94 New Jersey Cardinals during the club’s championship season by doing the “Y-M-C-A” and “Macarena” on the home dugout during our traditional 7th inning stretch.”

Hilliard’s approach as Skylands’ first leader has been taken to the next level by the Sussex County Miners, whose Community-First series is a robust program of themed games, each dedicated to supporting a specific social cause or local organization. The SCARC Foundation, primary beneficiary of the charity auction, dovetails perfectly.

“SCARC has had a long tradition of involvement with community baseball,” said Foundation CEO Chris Hemmer. “We’re pleased to be a part of the celebration and fortunate to benefit from the efforts of Al Dorso, Rob Hilliard, Vin Sangemino and the Skylands/Miners team.”

Auction items range from one-of-a-kind pieces from Hilliard’s time as a member of New Jersey Cardinals’ ownership group, to autographed limited edition lithographs from international Formula One auto racing he acquired while working in metro Detroit. “There’s something for every participant, from yearbooks and team trading-card sets of the 1994 New Jersey Cardinals to game-worn jerseys and autographed photos from some of the biggest Major League stars of yesteryear.

A Jersey City native and former resident of Vernon Township now living in Charlottesville, Hilliard will also be marking his 50th Reunion Weekend at the University of Virginia at the end of May.

“I was fortunate to have spent time as president of the UVA Club of Michigan, so I’m pleased to help the UVA Club of Northern NJ serve prospective and current students, their parents and fellow University of Virginia alumni,” Hilliard said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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