The line of customers at Round Top Ice Cream in Damariscotta went out the door for most of closing day, Tuesday, Oct. 10, as friends and community members showed up to support 13-year-old Newcastle resident Alice Skiff.
Last week, Round Top Ice Cream owner Stephanie Poland said all proceeds from closing day would be donated to the Skiff family. In October 2016, at the age of 12, Alice underwent successful brain surgery to remove a fast-growing, walnut-sized tumor, known as a medulloblastoma.
Alice, an eighth-grader at Great Salt Bay Community School, is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatments.
Round Top Ice Cream is connected to the Skiff family in a couple different ways, Poland said. Margaret Skiff, Alice’s older sister, used to work at the ice cream stand over the summer.
“We thought this might be a good way for the community to support Alice and her family,” Poland said.
For the 2017 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta, artist Laura Guay Cladius painted the giant pumpkin in front of Round Top as Alice the Warrior Mermaid, in honor of one of the 13-year-old’s favorite fictional creatures.
Round Top traditionally donates sales on closing day to a local charity or benefit, Poland said. In previous years, it gave the money to The Community Energy Fund of Lincoln County, which provides heating assistance to area residents in need.
This year’s closing day, however, blew previous efforts out of the water, Poland said, doubling the sales the business typically sees on closing day.
Previously, the most money the stand would raise hovered around $2,500. When Round Top closed at 8 p.m., the total of the day’s sales and tips came in at just over $5,000.
“I don’t have the total number of people who came in, but I know we had a really good day today,” Poland said. “The line was out the door a lot of the time, and it was incredibly busy the entire day.”
Although Alice was unable to attend the benefit in person, she “was definitely here in spirit,” Poland said.
Anyone who wishes to donate but was unable to attend the benefit at Round Top may still mail a donation to Skiff Family Fund, c/o Kate Pennington, 123 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle, ME 04553.