SUMMIT, NJ - As the Summit Hilltoppers football team continue to steamroll opponents and sit at 8-0, dedicated parents showed their gratitude and appreciation when they held the fourth annual Auction Social at Creative Wall Coverings and Interiors in New Providence Saturday night.

There was food, drinks and numerous items up for auction including New York Jets memorabilia, gift certificates, electronic appliances and jewelry. Many parents of players, friends and alumni attended the event.

A committee of parents has organized the evening since its inception and among them is Head Coach John Liberato’s wife Virginia. It is the one fundraiser they hold each year and all of the money goes the team banquet, jerseys, new helmets and anything else the players need.

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Liberato said the kids know they hold it and are extremely grateful to the adults for their fundraising efforts. It’s not just a football event, it’s a community wide effort, she said.

“It’s a great evening,” Liberato said. “It’s a fun night to come out and support the team. It’s a lot of hard, work but we love doing it for the kids.”

John Liberato, who has been coaching the Hilltoppers for the past six years, said he all the credit for the night’s event goes to his wife and the committee. Without the kids hard work on and off the field, none of this would be possible, he said.  

“It’s a great opportunity for the parents to come together in a social atmosphere without talking about football,” he said. “I don’t think there is a greater place to be than Summit.”

Special teams coordinator Kevin Kostibos said coaching with Liberato is a dream come true after having played for him in high school. Kostibos, who teaches eighth grade history at the middle school, said working side by side with Liberato for the past six years has been amazing.

“I’m a very big John Liberato fan because he’s one of the main reasons I’m the man who I am today,” he said. “The last six years have just been phenomenal.”

Newcomer to Summit, Beth Wiesner said after moving there in June, she and her family have felt much more at home because of the football program. Her son Matt plays defensive end and has really enjoyed it, she said.  

“We love it and the event is great,” Wiesner said. “It really got us involved in the community by having the boys in football.”