ORONO — Cece McEachern of Ellsworth and Madison Luck of Mount Desert were honored last weekend as the Maine YMCA Citizen Award recipients for 2013.
The award presentation took place at the Maine YMCA Swimming Championships held at the University of Maine.
McEachern, the daughter of Steve and Susan McEachern and an Ellsworth High School senior, has been a member of the Down East Family YMCA Dolphin swim team since the age of 6.
Matt Montgomery, DEFY membership director and swim coach, nominated Cece for the award, observing that she “demands the most from herself and the people around her.”
“She has the leadership qualities, organizational skills and character to achieve anything she sets her sights on,” he wrote.
Cece became the youngest Dolphin swimmer to qualify for the YMCA Short and Long Course national competitions and the youngest ever to capture an individual high school state championship.
She now holds every individual record on the Ellsworth High School girls’ swim team and has won numerous state championships.
Cece has worked as a lifeguard and day camp counselor for DEFY, volunteers her time teaching swim lessons and helping coach younger swimmers, has interned with the DEFY Aquatic Department and helped set up the swim team website.
As a student at EHS, she is ranked first in her class and has won academic awards for Spanish, English, health, honors physics and honors chemistry.
She was this year’s EHS state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, is vice president of the student council and Spanish Club, AFS president and serves on various other school committees.
Cece has been accepted to the University of Maine’s President’s College, the University of Vermont and La Salle University.
Luck, 18, a senior at Mount Desert Island High School, has been swimming under coach Jim Willis since he was six years old. He is the son of Christopher and Nia Luck. Willis nominated Luck. His nomination letter was read aloud during the award ceremony Saturday.
“I would just like to say that it has been an honor to have been around [Luck] for the past 12 years,” Willis wrote. “He is a leader not so much by words but actions. He is supportive of others, willing to help all, always has a good word for someone and is just plain nice.”
Outside of the pool, Luck maintains a high GPA in school, is first chair cello and saxophone with the Bangor Youth Symphony Orchestra and sits on the MDI YMCA’s board of directors as its only youth member. He plans to attend college in the fall but has not decided on his destination.
He said that as citizen of the year, he would strive to “bring a calm and cheerful demeanor to every task I take on, and to try to find ways to help with everything I do.”
“It’s my last year here,” Luck said, “and this community has given me so much, I really need to give back to it.”