Merritt scholarship ride is Saturday

By: By Erin Smith -

WHITE LAKE — The ninth annual Mike Merritt Memorial Scholarship Ride is set to take place on Saturday, and organizers are hoping for cooperation from Mother Nature to make the day a success.

The riders will meet at the White Lake Fire Department for registration from 9:30 until 10:45 a.m. and the riders will depart at 11 a.m. Cost is $20 per single rider and $25 double. Cost includes lunch for the riders, which will consist of barbecue, grilled chicken, and all of the trimmings. There will also be door prizes.

This year the ride will travel to the Beaver Dam community, ending at 1171 Ludhorne Road in Roseboro. The site has a pond and cooking accommodations, according to Evelyn Merritt, one of the ride’s organizers and mother of the late Mike Merritt, for whom the scholarship was named.

The scholaship provides money for local students to attend Bladen Community College with an eye toward firefighting.

“We know how pleased Mike would be to know that, as the scholarship continues to strengthen it will be able to continue helping students year after year,” said Merritt.

In, 2014, the ride raised more than $7,000 for the scholarship, said Merritt. Since its inception, the scholarship has assisted 18 students and each year the endowed scholarship continues to grow, said Merritt.

“We’ve raised over $40,000 for the scholarship fund at Bladen Community College,” said Merritt. “We also raised in excess of $10,000 for Bladen County firefighters.”

Merritt said the support and the response to the scholarship has been tremendous.

“We would like to say thank-you to every person who has in any way helped. Everyone has each year surprised us with their support. Thank God for Bladen County people who truly care about each other,” said Merritt.

She added the support from other counties as well has meant a lot to the family.

For questions or information about the ride, call Evelyn Merritt at 910-872-1304, Joan Brennan at 910-874-1211, Dale Brennan 910-874-0726 or Tina Merritt-Smith at 910-876-2549.

Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.

By Erin Smith