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Burlington Chocolate Fest

Hundreds remember Como boy

November 23, 2010 | 08:56 AM
Lyons — Carter Dorwin had a million-dollar smile and he showed it off every day at Eastview Elementary School.

The 9-year-old loved wrestling, being outdoors with his fellow Cub Scouts and with animals.

But, Carter won't have the chance to spend another afternoon fishing, on the wrestling mats, camping in the woods or holding his dog Toby.

Last week, Dorwin was killed when the car his mother was driving was struck by another vehicle while on the way to school. Carter died at the scene right about the time he should have been sitting in Bonnie Anderson's third-grade class.

Hundreds came out Saturday to Mt. Zion Church to say goodbye to the young man who has touched so many during his two years in the Lake Geneva area.

Among the mourners was Scout Troop 239 leader Frank Guske and his family. Guske said the Dorwin family had only been in the area for a short time, but they had made an impact, especially Carter.

"He was one of us," Guske said of Carter. "He was one of our own."

Guske said Carter enjoyed the outdoors and was especially at home during time spent on Charlie Moelter's conservation property just east of the city of Lake Geneva. Over the years, Guske's scouts have spent much time there. But, Guske said Carter "loved" being out there. The scouts, including Carter, were out there as recently as Halloween.

"It's a shame he was taken from us," Guske said. "He will leave us with something."

Members of the Badger Youth Wrestling Club also attended Saturday's services. Last week, the club issued a statement following Carter's death.

"We prepare for the day when we must say goodbye to our young wrestlers as they leave us for other ventures, whether it be wrestling in high school or change of direction in their life. These goodbyes we are prepared for and learn to celebrate. Carter's goodbye has come in a manner that no one here on earth can prepare for or make sense of."

According to the club members, Carter "epitomized" what the organization is about, including having fun and working hard, but learning from failure and sportsmanship.

Guske said a memorial to Carter is being planned on the Moelter property. He also said he hopes there are changes made and people start making better choices regarding drinking and driving. The driver who struck the Dorwin's vehicle had multiple drunken driving offenses and police said alcohol was involved at the time of the crash, which was around 7 a.m.

"If we don't make a change about what's going on here, we are all at fault," Guske said.

The tragedy of Carter's death hit teachers, staff and students at Eastview School.

On Friday, Eastview Principal Colin Nugent said Carter first arrived at his school last year. In second-grade, the boy's teacher was Matt Conrardy. This year, Carter was in Anderson's third-grade class.

Nugent said he saw Carter nearly every day. After all, Eastview is a small school.

"I met him every day getting off the bus," Nugent said. "I'd see him in the lunch room. If I had to pin it down, he's just a great kid — happy-go-lucky, well-liked, big smile. ... Like all of our students, he had that million-dollar smile.

He said Carter loved being at school. Perhaps it runs in his family. His mother, Nicole, is a teacher in the Family And Consumer Education Department at Badger High School.

Dealing with the tragedy

Nevertheless, it made Tuesday, Nov. 16, a difficult day for Eastview. During the morning, Nugent said he and other district teachers and officials designed a plan for how to deal with the tragedy.

He said they told Eastview students about Carter's death in the afternoon.

"We did it on an individual basis, by going into each classroom," Nugent said. "We told the kids the facts of the situation and we sent a letter home with them for their parents."

Counselors from other area school districts helped Eastview break the news on the same day students were taking the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam.

"But our priority was the well being, mostly of the Dorwin family, and the students here in school," Nugent said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

Guske called the Dorwin family "amazing people" that "we can learn so much from them" during this tragedy.

Carter's younger brother, Bradley, is a 4-year-old kindergarten student at Eastview. On Friday, Nugent said Bradley still hasn't returned to school.

Until then, Nugent said they're ready and waiting.

"We're just going to keep an extra eye on him, be there for him, for help and support," he said.

Nugent also said Lake Geneva Schools have established a memorial fund to help the Dorwin family.

People can drop off donations at the offices of either Eastview or Badger schools to be delivered to the family.

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