Fundraising effort launched for local ice cream shop owner after a fall lands him in the hospital

A fundraising effort is underway for a local business owner who is hospitalized in critical after a fall in his home.

“Anthony Maniscalco [66]…owner of Gracie’s Ice Cream in Haddonfield fell down the stairs and has brain damage,” a message on an internet GoFundMe campaign said. “He is currently on life support. We are raising money to support the family through this very difficult time.”

The campaign had surpassed its initial goal of $5,000 by Thursday morning and set a new goal of $10,000 to help Manicalco’s family.

Local officials say Gracies sits in the heart of the business district on Kings Highway and is a central gathering point in this Colonial-era town.

“It’s our town’s happy place,” borough Mayor Neal Rochford said. “It’s a place where people come to eat an ice cream cone or have a water ice, talk to neighbors. It’s Americana.”

Rochford said he did not know when the accident occurred but believed it was within the past week. He said he believes the Manicalco’s son will operate the business during his father’s absence.

“I’m personally devastated,” Rochford said. “I’ve known him for a long time and his family has run the business for years.”

Rochford said youth sports teams often would meet up at Gracies after games and people are frequently seen sitting in a nearby gazebo off of Kings Court near Gracies enjoying their treats.

“I’m pulling for him to be back in action as soon as possible,” Rochford said. “I wish him a speedy recovery. He is in our prayers and thoughts.”

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