Grinches steal money earmarked for charity from ice cream store in Hillsborough

The Maple View Ice Cream and Country Store supports local charities, but on Christmas Eve, thieves broke in and made off with money that was earmarked to help others. (WTVD / Anthony Wilson )

The drive to the Maple View Ice Cream and Country Store takes you on winding roads through some pretty country, and by the time you arrive at 6900 Rocky Ridge Road in Hillsborough you're ready for the treats served inside.

"We started bottling our milk in '96, and then we started making ice cream in 2001 and we opened an ice cream store," said owner Bob Nutter, with a smile on his face.

The shop also supports local charities with donations made by customers. But on Christmas Eve, thieves broke in and made off with money that was earmarked to help others.

"Our safe was stolen, product was stolen," said Maple View partner and manager Allison Nichols-Clapper. "But most disheartening to us was the Sam's Wish jars, the kids hospice care jars were gone. And the wooden box that the Masons of Eagle Lodge 19 in Hillsborough had made for the Masonic Home for Children had been smashed into, and all the money was removed from it."

The amount of cash stolen is not known but Sam's Wish Fund for Kids Path of Hospice benefits kids of several local counties, and the Masonic Home for Children is in Oxford.

The investigation of that theft continues, and the money's not recovered.

"They wasn't malicious. They were just after the money. They took that and left, and to me, that was a blessing," said Nutter, who is maintaining a positive perspective.

The store is trying to raise money to replace what was stolen. From now through Jan. 11, Nichols-Clapper says, the store will donate one dollar each to the Sam's Wish Fund and the Masonic Home For Children every time a customer buys a large sundae. They're also accepting donations of any amount that are dropped in collection jars inside the store.

The weather forecast for our area's not ice cream friendly this week, so if you're not able to make it out to Hillsborough you can donate HERE.

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