On November 5th, 1972, our sister Dorine was killed in a car accident 50 yards from our home in South Carver. She was only 18 and a freshman at the New England Baptist School of Nursing. She had come home for the weekend and a night we won't ever forget. As a result of the accident the scholarship fund was formed.
Dorine was the second of seven - Mike is the first, then Dorine, Sandy, Me, (Donna) Sonya, Judy and David. She was very outgoing and worked within the community to help others. She worked hard at selling wood in Myles Standish State Forest with the United Parish Church’s youth group. She loved cheerleading, the Beetles, and talking on the phone!
In her ambition to help the community, Dorine showed compassion by organizing a 20 mile walk-a-thon. Mr. Sprague, a Carver resident had had an accident breaking almost every bone in his body. Dorine and other Carver teens organized this walk-a-thon to raise money for his family. The walk was 20 miles and hundreds came, raising money and making a difference for the Sprague family.
A scholarship fund in her memory was established by the United Parish, friends and family the spring after her death. The early years of the scholarship fund, money was raised with a 20-mile walk-a-thon on Good Friday. The funds raised were given to a Carver resident going into his/her second or third year of college in memory of Dorine. Special consideration was given to a student studying nursing because this was Dorine's interest. Twenty miles was the goal for the walk and for many years it was successful.
Time passed and we decided to raise money a new way. Fellow runners can understand my desire to start a road race. In November of 2000 we held the first Edaville Rail Run after organizing it in only 3 months! We are now on our 14th year and feel the future is bright with more money raised every year to be given out not only in scholarships but in grants as well. We are now the Dorine Merritt Memorial Fund and have given grants to the CMHS 6th class to insure every 6th grader is able to attend Camp Bournedale, an outdoor week long Science camp. Also to the Old Home Day Association, the Town of Carver Recreation Department to support the summer swim program; a summer Science Camp organized by John Rozen; the Carver Fire Department; the Carver Boy Scouts of America and scholarships to a high school senior, and student’s entering their sophomore or junior year of college.
Why is the race in Edaville? We Merritt's are from Carver. Our Dad grew up here in Edaville in the house across from the gazebo, and our Grandfather helped lay the tracks of the train. Dorine and Sandy both worked here and our family all rode the train every Christmas season. We would also come over and skate on Swan Pond during the Christmas festival - the Christmas music in the background setting the mood and giving us tons of fun. Our connection to the location enhances the special feeling of raising money for a loved one.
Our race is unique because it weaves through bog roads, around a reservoir, and through a pine grove. It is also unique because it does not have any hard pavement or traffic. Once you run this course I guarantee you will be hooked and will come back year after year.
If you decide to participate - whether as a volunteer, runner/walker or sponsor, we thank you. Your support allows us to keep Dorine's memory and spirit alive and to continue to support the youth of Carver, helping them work on making their lives better.
Thank you so very much. Enjoy the race and see you next year!
When I think of Dorine Merritt, I remember the wonderful times we shared as best friends in high school. In those days, I was fortunate to have two best friends, and Dorine was definitely one of them. Whether it was singing together in the chorus, hanging out at PCHS, going to the dances or proms together, or being active in Plymouth Assembly #86 Order of the Rainbow Girls, we always had fun together. Hers was a treasured friendship, and one I could always count on.
Dorine’s bubbly personality and playful spirit always brought a smile to my face. I so looked forward to spending time with such a great friend. Dorine was a sweet person who at such a young age exuded extraordinary humility, love, and compassion. I remember the Saturday we walked 20 miles together in Carver for a fundraiser she was involved in. We had lots of laughs. But, boy, did our feet and bodies ache at the end of the day! It was well worth it though. It was for a good cause, and we both knew it. That was one cherished memory I will never forget.
When it came time to decide on the direction each of us would head professionally, I remember urging Dorine to become a nurse. Because I had already been accepted at the New England Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, I strongly encouraged her to apply. I knew Dorine would make an awesome nurse. She had a huge heart, a kind spirit, and a compassionate soul. What could be better than that? When Dorine applied to the Baptist and was accepted, I was overjoyed! Boy, would we make lots of memories together in Boston. And we did, at least for three short months while at nursing school until that unforgettable night when Dorine was abruptly taken from all of us.
Do we still miss Dorine? Absolutely. Will she be remembered? Without a doubt. Will we continue to love her? Always… for those precious, loving memories of Dorine have surely been emblazoned on our hearts forever.
Dorine, I missed having you at my side at our 35th PCHS reunion this year. In fact, I have only gone to one other high school reunion up until now, because I knew it would never be the same without you. And it wasn’t. But, I guess some things aren’t meant to be. One thing I do know though is that this world was surely better because you were in it. Thank you for your gifts of love. Thank you for the blessed friendship that we shared. Thank you for shining your beautiful light wherever you traversed. I will love you and remember you – always.
The Dorine Merritt Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization, and a 501 3C organization that awards scholarships and grants to support the youth of Carver. The race began in 2000 with 100 registered runners. it has grown to close to 1000 runners, volunteers and spectators. The Memorial Fund was established as the Dorine Merritt Scholarship Fund in 1973 when Dorine Merritt, a Carver resident, was killed in a car accident. She was attending New England Baptist School of Nursing at the time.
From 1973 – 2000, a $500.00 scholarship was awarded to one sophomore or junior college student. In 2000, the Edaville Rail Run race began with 100 registered runners/walkers. In 2009, the number had increased to 650, and we anticipate this number will continue to grow. With the increased amount of money raised, we have been able to extend the gifts given, and now also award grants. the Memorial Fund now awards 3 scholarships to both high school students and college students.
In 2008, we added a grant program. In the past, grants have been awarded to the Carver Recreation Department to run a swimming program that was going to be discontinued due to lack of funds; the Fire Department, who purchased safety equipment used for training; the Old Home Day Association, who provided Carver youth with activities during the Old Home Day Festivities; the 6th grade middle school class and Boy Scout Troop 48, to allow all students and members to attend an outdoor educational camp. Grants have been awarded to the Carver Recreation Department, Carver Fire Department, the Old Home Day Association, the 6th grade middle school class, the Boy Scout Troop 48, YPAC and the Zach Kane Medical Fund.
The Edaville Rail Run is the sole fundraiser for the Memorial fund. Monies are raised through sponsorship and race entry fees. The Edaville Rail Run consists of a 5 mile run and a 2 mile run/walk. The race is unique as the course winds through the Makepeace cranberry bogs within Edaville USA. The days festivities brings the running community together, and promotes health and fitness to all family members to participate.