MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Each September over the last five years, there have been “Get Naked in the ‘Wood” lawn signs throughout Maplewood and South Orange yards and have made many curious. This clever slogan promotes the annual Robert J. Miller Oysterfest for Melanoma Awareness that drew 2000 neighbors to the Woodland last year to support an important cause and enjoy a fun community event for all ages. This event was designed to raise funds for cancer research and awareness, but more importantly “give back” by providing financial support to families facing an unexpected medical crises.

Bob Miller was a long time Maplewood resident who lived in the heart of town with his wife Grace and their four daughters.  A world-class architect, who also focused on beautifully renovating local historic homes, he was also a dedicated father, seeing his girls off to school and coaching lacrosse.  At age 45 he was diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Despite a courageous two-year battle, Bob passed away in March 2014. In 2015, Grace along with devoted friends and community leaders organized the inaugural charity event, Robert J. Miller Oysterfest to celebrate Bob’s life, raise funds for melanoma research and provide skin cancer screenings. This is a venue to give people a chance to see a dermatologist and take advantage of a quick and convenient screening at a fun, social event.

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“This event is therapy for me and the girls because it honors Bob while also raising awareness about melanoma. Through prevention and early diagnosis, our real hope is that we spare others the pain of this disease. The fact that we gather in the center of Maplewood is a bonus.”  

There will be loads of children’s activities until 5 p.m. including fairy hair, henna tattoo artists, face painters, magic show, a photo booth and life-size games. This event will include an array of food trucks,  scrumptious food choices ranging from oysters and lobster rolls to tacos, hot dogs and asian foods. The entertainment is bands Brian Kirk & the Jirks, and 80s Nite band. 

This year, in the VIP tent, we are featuring foods from our newest local restaurants like Town Hall Deli, Millburn Deli, Sprout, Mitti Mitti, Jackie & Sons, Cornbread, Village Trattoria, the Able Baker, Gigi Cupcakes, and coffee from Starbucks.  Also in the VIP tent is open bar, wine tasting, and “All Day Rose” wine bar.

Most importantly, there will be free, on-site melanoma skin screenings from 1 to 5 p.m.

None of this would be possible without the support from our partnership with the Township of Maplewood, and loyal sponsors including: St. James Gate, Keller Williams Midtown Direct, JMF Properties, The Lions Club, Maplewood Rotary Club, Far Brook School, Schwartz Design Showroom,  The Able Baker, Bistro D’Azur, Village Trattoria, Baker Street Yoga, Arturo’s, Millburn Orthodontics, Tom Conway Architect, MNET Mortgage,  Maplewood Lacrosse Girls + Boys, Anthony Garubo, Jerry Rose Floral, Guaranteed Rate to name just a few.  The Robert J. Miller Oysterfest is also made possible through the hard work of the following committee members: John Meade, Grace Miller, Ellen & Donald Davenport, Amy Jo & Pat Curran, Carol V. Fardin, Danielle Medeiros, Karen Semian, Adam Sparrey and Tom Varbero, and many volunteers that day.

We can’t wait to see everyone on Saturday, September 14th from 1 to 9 at The Woodland, in Maplewood.  BUY your tickets today!  (Price increase day of event.),  General admission: $25 ($35 at door), VIP tickets:  $125 ($140 at door).  Youth & Teen *under 17, $10.  bobmilleroysterfest.com.