January 18, 2022

Valley residents invited to meet student athletes

FORT KENT – University of Maine at Fort Kent Interim President Donald Zillman and his wife, Linda Zillman, are inviting St. John Valley community members to meet and greet student athletes and coaches.

The social gathering will take place Friday, Sept. 7, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Acadia House, the official residence of UMFK’s president, on Pleasant Street.

The meet and greet session “will allow community members a wonderful opportunity to get closer to the university athletes they will cheer on in the year ahead,” President Zillman said. “Our athletic teams are the only local college or university teams that Valley residents can call their own.”

Student athletes competing on Bengal squads this year are a more diverse group than at any time in the school’s history. Among the nations that will be represented in UMFK green and gold are Norway, Morocco, Argentina, Bosnia, Lithuania, Botswana, England, Portugal and Canada. Additionally, students from Michigan, Washington state, Washington, D.C., Louisiana, and New York will be on the squads.

A change in UMFK athletics policy, recently instituted by athletic director Jim Graffam, will ensure that athletes are provided more opportunities for interaction with the community.

In a recent meeting with his coaching staff Graffam discussed a new program that will have all athletic teams working on a community outreach project.

“They can get together and help rake the lawns of elderly citizens, assist a civic organization in a special fund-raiser or initiate a project of their own,” said Graffam. The plan is to make the athletes more a part of the community.

“We have a great deal of support from the local community and are always looking for a larger fan base,” he said. “By getting our teams out there, we will hopefully make more people feel like they have a stake in us, because we work side-by-side with them.”

For more information, contact Graffam at 834-7571.

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