Harlem Superstars add razz-ma-tazz to CHS Project Grad fundraiser

12 years ago

By Natalie Bazinet
Staff Writer

CARIBOU — Over 800 people packed the Caribou High School gymnasium on March 31 to see the Harlem Superstars take on Caribou’s own Dream Team, raising an estimated $2,000 for the 2012 Project Graduation in a highly comic and entertainingly athletic feat.

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Contributed photo
Members of the Harlem Superstars took time for a photo with dedicated Project Graduation seniors of the Caribou High School. At front and center is none other than Chris “Super Chicken” Turnquist. From left, second row: Avery “Slick” Stevenson, Justin Doody, Jacob Beaupre, Colby Johnson, Steven “Surfer Boy” Faulkner, Nikolas Dobson, Joshua Kovach and Mark “Hollywood” Jones. Third row: Ricky “7-Footer” Lopes, Matthew Kamm, Kyle Wickstrom, Derrick LaMothe, Morgan Swan and Kevin “Showboat” Jackson.

Organizers said aside from the Superstars’ amazing basketball skills and high flying slam dunks, comedy was central to the event as the Superstars poked fun at the Caribou Dream Team and referees.

“The show consisted of a lot of fan-to-player interaction,” said Project Graduation Committee Member Carol Kamm, describing how the event featured a lot of dancing, autograph sessions and even a halftime show that engaged audience members.

“Everyone had a great time,” she added, “the show wasn’t targeted just for kids, the [Superstars] entertained the entire crowd.”

While Project Graduation Co-Chair Karen Kovach does view the event a success as both a fundraiser and an entertaining community event, she mentioned that a hugely important part of the Harlem Superstars’ visit to Caribou took place an entire day before the eccentric basketball game on Saturday night.

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Contributed photo
Just how tall is Ricky “7-Footer” Lopes? He’s shown here standing with Project Graduation committee member Carol Kamm.

On March 30, Ricky “7-Footer” Lopes visited Teague Park and Hilltop Elementary Schools; he played a lot of fun games with the students and generated a lot of energy, but what Kovach found most notable about his visit was that he shared a very important message with the kids.

“He talked with the kids about how important education is, and the benefits of making good choices and leading a healthy, drug-free life,” Kovach said. “He also told students to never be a bully in school, and talked about the damages bullying can cause.”

Kovach also said that because the Harlem Superstars provide such a positive and fun experience for students and the community, she would like to bring the team back up north for future fundraisers.

Caribou’s Dream Team consisted of five CHS seniors — Chad Caverhill, Nick Pucci, Annie Collins, Paige Small, Katie Keaton and Tia McHatten (though she was unable to attend the game) as well as Gregg Collins, Ben Rosser, Ryan Deprey, Scott Walton, Andrew Kirby, Shawn Manter and volunteer referee Troy Heald.

Event organizers also mentioned that Caribou Police Officer Erik Jepson volunteered his time to help keep the fundraiser safe.

Kovach also offered her thanks to the approximate 17 CHS seniors who loyally dedicate their time helping to fund-raise for Project Graduation — a program which benefits every graduating senior.