AC Program Started by First Pro, Black Hockey Player, Gets No Love From Mayor

Residents are claiming that AC Mayor Frank Gilliam is ignoring his community, while sucking up to the Atlantic City elite. Kinda looks that way by the way Gilliam is holding back much needed funds for groups like PAL, Art Dorrington Hockey, and 5 other local groups.

One such community group negatively affected by the Mayor’s actions is a hockey program for AC kids, lead by the late Art Dorrington.

The Art Dorrington foundation is now running on fumes. Today, there’s less than $1,000 left in budget. The kid’s hockey program is desperate for funding. Teetering on shut-down. The hockey program was expecting a $25,000 cash infusion from the infamous MGM Borgata fund. Mr. Gilliam is holding up those funds.

See Atlantic City Council Meeting, April 18, 2018.

Dorrington was a pioneer. The first black player to sign an NHL contract. Born in Canada, but eventually made Atlantic City his home. An AC resident being signed to the NHL, seems almost impossible. But Art broke thru. Just like Jackie Robinson and others who were pioneers of their day.

Dorrington moved to Atlantic City in 1950 to play professional ice hockey for the Eastern Hockey League’s Atlantic City Sea Gulls.

Art Dorrington Motto: On the ice, off the street.

Art passed in Dec of 2017. Truly, an amazing man. Not just for his skills on the ice, but his passion for kids & Atlantic City.

Art Dorrington Ice Hockey Foundation provides free hockey equipment, instruction and educational programs for low-income youth of Atlantic City.

Art & Kids At Skate Zone in AC

AC Councilman George Tibbitt accurately describes Art Dorrington as the ‘Jackie Robinson’ of Hockey. (Robinson: first black Major League Baseball player)

The Art Dorrington Foundation Hockey program teaches AC kids between 9-12 yrs old, about hockey and good sportsmanship. The foundation pays for ice time, equipment. Everything. Art made sure kids took care of school & homework first. Kept their grades up. Before they could hit the ice. That’s how Art rolled.

Art & Judah Dorrington

Who’s holding up the $25k? That Would Be Atlantic City Mayor, Frank Gilliam

The Dorrington Foundation is not the only community organization waiting for funds to be released. There’s a total of 7 orgs that desperately need money. Funding that’s already been signed off on, but sitting in limbo. There’s one last signature needed for those checks to be released. Mayor Frank Gilliam’s. He’s the roadblock.

Yes, the same Frank Gilliam who’s well known for signing checks in his sleep. Frank will put his signature on any piece of paper with lot’s of zeros on it. Especially if it’s a $10,000 check made out to someone else.

NJ Lt Gov, Sheila Oliver needs to open another can of whoop ass on Mayor Frank. A big can.

AC Councilman Aaron Randolph says RELEASE THE MONEY. “this is not politics. It’s the right thing to do”.

Council President Marty Small says Lt Gov Sheila Oliver has an eye on this. It’s on the Lt Gov’s radar.

Gilliam holding back 7 valid contracts. Why? His name is not on those agreements. That’s why he’s not providing the final signature.

Poor leadership, driven by ego. Says Council Pres Marty Small. Even if you’re a supporter of Gilliam, you gotta be shaking your head.

PAL needs their check too. $150k. PAL desperately needs their agreed upon funds. Bathrooms are a mess. Embarrassing. PAL building needs repairs.

About Art Dorrington

  • Ice hockey pioneer
  • Signed a contract with New York Rangers in 1950
  • Member of Atlantic City Sea Gulls
  • Dorrington retired from the Atlantic City Sheriff’s Department in 1994
  • Start his youth program in 1998
  • African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame

Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly interview:

Q: When you signed with the Rangers, was the expectation that you would get a chance to play in the NHL?
A: Yes. I was supposed to stay in New York and play with the New York Rovers but they were on the road. The Rangers had an agreement with the Sea Gulls so I came here and played.

Q: You faced ethnic slurs. How did you handle it?
A: It didn’t bother me too much because my teammates supported me [most were fellow Canadians shocked by the racism]. I didn’t have problems in Atlantic City. It was when we went to Washington and Baltimore. Once we played in Troy, Ohio and they told me I couldn’t stay at the hotel. The rest of the players walked out.

Q: After you were hurt and had to retire, why did you make Atlantic City your home?
A: I met a local girl and we got married [that would be his wife of 47 years, Dorothie, a retired teacher]. I liked the place and there were a lot of opportunities.”

Q: What motivated you to create your foundation?
A: I was working at the rink on the Boardwalk and I didn’t see any black kids. I asked why, and was told the equipment was too expensive. [Later] I was invited to a program, Ice Hockey in Harlem, and decided if they get black kids on the ice in Harlem, I can do it in Atlantic City.

1 thought on “AC Program Started by First Pro, Black Hockey Player, Gets No Love From Mayor”

  1. If the money is there, and it is designated for some good programs, why is the Mayor not giving it out? Let’s hear his side of the story. What gives, Mr. Mayor?

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