New store will benefit Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Nouvelle Lucas, Jerry Hill, John Birke, Fern Hill and Steven Alvarenga outside Miss Fern's Shoppe in the Baiting Hollow Commons.

For the past two years, a second-hand shop located at the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead has brought in a sizable income to the home for abused and troubled boys.

Now with the grand opening of its second location, the organization’s founders, Jerry and Fern Hill, are hoping the Sound Avenue store will help further the mission originally started by their son Timothy, who was killed in a bicycle accident at 13 years old.

All proceeds from the store, known as Miss Fern’s Shoppe in honor of Ms. Hill, will benefit the ranch.

The current shop, located at the Middle Road ranch, brings in about $80,000 a year for the organization, Mr. Hill said. He said he doesn’t know exactly what to expect from the new storefront, located in the Baiting Hollow Commons just behind the Lobster Roll restaurant, but he is optimistic it will do well.

Mr. Hill noted the store at the ranch has virtually no overhead, as the inventory is donated and it is staffed by volunteers. Mr. Hill also said he was offered a “very good price” on rent for the Sound Avenue location by the landlord.

He added that he has no problem filling the shelves with donated picture frames, candle holders, China sets and even furniture.

“We’ve had a wonderful response from the community,” Mr. Hill said. “We sometimes have more items than we can get rid of.”

As for the shop’s namesake, Ms. Hill denied involvement.

“That was one of our volunteers,” she said. “They just wanted to do that.”

Miss Fern’s Shoppe will be open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 11 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Timothy Hill Ranch is licensed by the state and houses boys who are troubled, abused or neglected or come from troubled families.

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