08/08/14 6:00am
08/08/2014 6:00 AM
Jerry and Fern Hill, left, founded Timothy Hill Children's Ranch on Middle Road in Riverhead. (Courtesy photo)

Jerry and Fern Hill, left, founded Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch on Middle Road in Riverhead. (Courtesy photo)

About a month after the Cross Sound Ferry’s 25th annual Fireworks Benefit Cruise, the company donated a $10,000 check to Riverhead nonprofit Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch.

Close to 400 people attended the annual fireworks show, a sunset cruise from Orient Point to New London which features a fireworks display. In addition to donating to THCR, the event raised funds for a scholarship the company set up for Greenport, Mattituck-Cutchogue and Southold High Schools.

“Cross Sound and Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch have enjoyed a great working relationship for the last 7 years. THCR feels blessed to have a relationship with a company that is committed to helping the youth on Long Island that are in need of second chances at life,” said Thaddeus Hill, executive director of THCR.

“The Ranch,” as Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch is known, serves at-risk youth on a 70-acre farm on Middle Road in Riverhead.

Cross Sound Ferry’s charity cruise has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars since its inception a quarter decade ago.

“The programs offered by THCR to children and families in need are invaluable especially in today’s world. Any support we can lend to their efforts is worthwhile,” said Stan Mickus, marketing director with Cross sound Ferry.

05/20/14 9:55am
05/20/2014 9:55 AM
(Credit: Paul Squire)

Seth Wassenaar is led into Riverhead Town court for his arraignment on a felony sex act charge Monday morning (Credit: Paul Squire)

A 17-year-old accused of committing a felony sex act against another male teen at the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch was released on $2,500 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment in Riverhead Town court Monday.  (more…)

04/26/14 8:00am
04/26/2014 8:00 AM
The Timothy Hill Children's Ranch. (Credit: file photo)

The Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch. (Credit: file photo)

I write this column at the risk of sounding like a P.R. rep for Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch. But the organization is the only one of its kind in the area — probably even all of Long Island — and has expanded rapidly in the past 13 months. And its growth may say something about the future of how we handle our disadvantaged youth.  (more…)

08/20/13 5:00pm
08/20/2013 5:00 PM
COURTESY FILE PHOTO | Jerry and Fern Hill speaking to young women at the ranch named in honor of their son. The home will now house girls for the first time.

COURTESY FILE PHOTO | Jerry and Fern Hill speaking to young women at the ranch named in honor of their son. The ranch will now house girls for the first time.

More than 30 years after launching a program to house abused, neglected or otherwise troubled boys, Riverhead’s Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch opened its first home for girls Monday.

“From the very beginning we had hoped to have girls, but when we opened it was boys that we had and it didn’t seem like the right thing to do, to have the boys and girls on the same campus,” said Fern Hill, who founded the ranch with her husband, Jerry Hill, in 1980. “Through the years we’ve tried several different things and this one just kind of came to us.”

Located near Sound Avenue in Riverhead, the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home is part of Timothy Hill’s new “Refine” program, which provides independent-style housing for young women between the ages of 17 and 21, said Kris Mannale, the house’s caretaker. Mr. Mannale lives in the house with his wife, Hannah, who is also a caretaker, and their 2-year-old daughter.

Yesterday two young women, ages 18 and 20, moved into the house, which the organization currently refers to as the “Sound Avenue Home,” Mr. Mannale said. Another young woman is expected to move in sometime next week.

“There’s been a need for a girls’ home for a long time and there definitely is a need for it right now,” Ms. Hill said.

Built in 1925, the former private residence was purchased in June and is surrounded by trees that appear to hide it from view. The bedrooms are designed to be shared and can accommodate up to four girls, Mr. Mannale said.

Similar to Timothy Hill’s independent living program for boys, girls at the Sound Avenue House are required to get a job, either on-campus or off, and must meet certain schooling requirements, Mr. Mannale said. They are permitted to have a car.

“I don’t know of any other girls’ programs being run the same way,” Mr. Mannale said. “I think when you look at the other independent living programs we have, the success rate is pretty phenomenal. When they leave, they’re people of character and able to hold down a job. They’ve been given vocational training and résumé building. It’s not just housing.”

Mr. Mannale said the young women at the Sound Avenue House are adjusting well to their new home.

“They’re great,” he said. “We love having them.”

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