2015-02-06 / Community

Town accepts fuel fund donations

At its Jan. 13 meeting, the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen accepted more than $3,200 in donations to the town’s fuel fund, administered though the General Assistance office.

The gifts included $2,500 from the William J. J. Gordon Family Foundation; $465 from the employees of the Cole- Harrison Agency (given in honor of their bosses, Jim Harrison, Jeff Cole and Robert Foley); $210 from Hearth and Soul owner Pat Hansen; and $50 from Steven Ferretti.

The town also recently received a $20 donation to the Dorothy Stevens Community Center from Sandra Merrifield of Texas, mailed in memory of Shiloh Pepin and her mother, Leslie Pepin, of Arundel.

Shiloh was born with sirenomelia, more commonly known as “mermaid syndrome.” Expected to die soon after birth, she survived until age 10, in 2009.

Merrifield had seen stories about the young girl on television and on YouTube and, when she heard Leslie Pepin had died in October at age 52, she sent a letter to the town saying she had gained an admiration for Pepin from news reports of how she handled her daughter’s struggles. Among those stories was “Mermaid Girl: The Last Six Months,” a documentary that aired on The Learning Channel.

Although Merrifield did not know the Pepins, she wrote that she wanted to send a small donation to the Dorothy Stevens Community Center in their memory. Stevens, a longtime Kennebunk resident and former town selectman, was Leslie Pepin’s grandmother and Shiloh’s greatgrandmother, hence the connection.

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