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Caribou councilors recognize swim team and events coordinator

CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou city councilors on May 13 officially recognized the municipality’s marketing and events coordinator as well as members of the high school swim team.

Addressing the councilors on behalf of the swim team, Chris Parent said swimmers from Caribou High School were looking to raise funds to continue competing as part of a cooperative team with members from area schools. Parent said swimmers from Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics would be invited to participate, since local schools no longer support swim teams.

Councilor Hugh Kirkpatrick asked Parent how much money the team needs to raise, and the teen swimmer said it costs $2,000 just to use the pool at Limestone Community School and pay for the coach. Additionally, he said that busing to and from swim meets would cost $500 per meet.

Councilor Thomas Ayer asked roughly how many meets are held per year. Parent said the team meets twice at the Limestone pool but that they are also hoping to attend “four to six” meets downstate.

Mayor Mark Goughan said he felt that Parent’s recent presentation to the RSU 39 school board about the future of the swim team was “excellent.”

“You did a great job,” the mayor said, “and I like the idea that you’re not giving up. You should all be commended.”

Parent thanked the mayor and councilors, who had invited six of the team members to speak on behalf of their efforts to fundraise and continue the team.

City officials then congratulated Caribou Marketing and Events Coordinator Christina Kane-Gibson for receiving the Maine Tourism Award for Innovation and Creativity. Maine Gov. Janet Mills presented Kane-Gibson the award in early April in Augusta.

City Manager Dennis Marker said this “was a big honor for Caribou and for Christina and everything she’s done.”

He said that while the city held numerous large-scale events last year, such as Thursdays on Sweden, BikeMaine, and the Caribou Marathon, Kane-Gibson was “in many ways the idea person” behind the local festivities.

“Everything she does in the city,” Marker said, “she puts her whole heart into and pulls many other people into it as well. And now the state has finally recognized it.”

He joked that he hopes other municipalities don’t recognize her talents “so we can keep her here.”

The councilors also presented her with a Spirit of America award to honor her service and volunteerism.

Kane-Gibson told councilors that the nomination was a big surprise for her, and that Gov. Mills gave an excellent address which raised awareness about America’s most northeastern city.

“All the award winners were invited to have lunch with the delegates,” she said, “and it was a really nice experience. Go Caribou.”

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