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PHOTOS: Bob Miller Oysterfest Raises $75K for Families in Need, Melanoma Research

Grace Miller and Family at the 3rd Annual Bob Miller Oysterfest. Photo by Claire Gianni Sinclair

The Third Annual “Get Naked In The ‘Wood!” Robert J. Miller Oysterfest raised about $75,000 both for melanoma research and for local families in need this past Saturday, September 16.

“The momentum this event has taken on year to year is incredible,” said organizer Carol Velez Fardin. “From our teaser campaign of ‘Get Naked in the Wood’ in lawn signs that references the on-site Melanoma screenings to our ‘#Shuck Cancer’ message that will carry the initiative through year-round, allows us to get the word out, while having fun.”

Oysterfest — which takes place at The Woodland in Maplewood — was started to honor the memory of Bob Miller, a beloved Maplewood resident who was taken too soon from his his wife Grace, his four daughters, and the community. The event is designed to raise funds for cancer research and awareness and to provide financial support to families facing crises.

(If you didn’t get to attend, you can still donate at

The 2017 Oysterfest included live bands, music from Brian Kirk and the Jirks, food and drink, and loads of kids’ activities including face painters, a photo booth and life-size games.

Plus, Alisyn Camerota from CNN’s New Day emceed.

But, most importantly, free on-site melanoma skin screenings took place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Past “Get Naked in the ‘Wood” events have identified pre-cancerous or cancerous cells for several locals, helping them to seek treatment early and successfully combat skin cancer.

Grace Miller said that there was, as yet, no report from the doctor regarding skin exams performed this year; however, more than 2,000 attendees and greater than 100 volunteers raised $75,000.

“Thank you to EVERYONE who attended and supported the 3rd Annual Robert J. Miller Oysterfest for Melanoma Awareness,” wrote Velez Fardin on Facebook. “My dearest friend Grace Miller and her beautiful daughters Eve, Margot, Lily B. and Poppy are beyond grateful. Their Dad would be so proud of the tribute everything they all do to have his memory and life live on….Until 2018….!”

Finally, Grace was adamant that the sponsors be thanked in any chronicle of the event. Sponsors included:

  • Clarus Properties
  • HK Family
  • Keller Williams Midtown Direct
  • The Lions Club
  • St. James Gate
  • Able Baker
  • Far Brook
  • Village Trattoria
  • Anthony Garubo Salon
  • Eagle Home Mortgage
  • Investors Home Mortgage
  • Arturo’s
  • Baker Street Yoga
  • Millburn Orthodontics
  • Molesafe
  • Rosen Kelly Conway Architects
  • Rutgers Paint
  • Gleason’s Cleaners
  • Starbucks
  • Maplewood Stationers
  • St. Rose of Lima Academy
“Every one of our sponsors wants to align with us because they believe in the value of Melanoma awareness we are bringing to over 2000 people,” wrote Velez Fardin via email, and she added one last sales pitch: “The sharp-looking Tshirts and Hats are part of donations and can be purchased online at”

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