Giving Back

Rockin’ Fest at Sussex County Community College to Support Student Veterans


NEWTON, NJ - Rockin' Fest, a fundraising music festival, will be held at Sussex County Community College  on the Connor Green from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 13

The proceeds from this event will go towards addressing the needs and create a financial safety net for SCCC student veterans. 

The event will feature eight bands: 

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  • Nikki Briar and the SweetBriar Band,
  • the Great Fraud Band,
  • the Mondays,
  • Only Living Boy,
  • Stinkin' Gringos,
  • Castle,
  • Self Induced and
  • Hot Flashes.

There will also be games, raffles and contests. Food vendors, veterans’ service organizations and merchandise vendors will be present at the event to round out the day.

Sussex County Community College, in partnership with Spirit of the Arts Foundation will begin the process of addressing the issues that student vets are facing.  They receive college tuition and a monthly housing stipend under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but that money stops coming during winter and summer breaks when veterans are not in class, leaving students financially strapped.

The fund will be available for student veterans who need assistance with expenses such as paying rent or an electric bill, or purchasing food and gas during times when class is not in session. A committee will review the request for assistance and quickly evaluate the situation so a rapid resolution can be achieved. The fund is a vehicle to get them through the period so they can concentrate on their studies.  If the student veteran is struggling with classes, the fund can also be used for specialized tutoring.

“It's going to be a big community day for everyone to come together and celebrate our veterans and show how we are trying to support them,” Spirit of the Arts Foundation Director, Sandy Mitchell said.

A very special dedication ceremony at 12:15 p.m. will feature opera star Frank Basile singing the National Anthem, Colonel Jon Rickey from Picatinny Arsenal, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance along with a color guard, taps and followed by a brief talk by Colonel Rickey as he addresses the issues at hand.

The missing man ceremony will be done by the Viet Nam Veterans of America. Many of our local political leaders have been invited and will be given the stage to address the audience during the breaks between the bands.  This is a not to be missed ceremony.

Sponsors for this event include Eastern Propane, Visions Federal Credit Union, Home Depot, Extreme Energy Solutions, Applebee’s, and others. 

Motorcycle riders are encouraged to attend.  The Branchville American Legion Riders have put out an invitation to their counterparts in the area.  The Patriot Guard has also been invited to provide the flag line.

“Rockin’ Fest will be an annual event and it is hoped it will grow each year. Having the community support this endeavor is our goal” says Mitchell. “We all need to work together to answer the calls for help from our veterans.”

Rockin' Fest is free to attend, but parking will be $10 per car, $5 per motorcycle and $5 per car for students with IDs.  The event will be held rain or shine. To prepay for parking or to make a donation please go to

For more information, visit or call 973-875-2068.

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