Patten family earns ‘Outstanding Family’ honors

Doreen Heintz

The Patten family (from left, Kaylene, Carsen and Carl) share a moment of pride. Carsen holds the Family of the Year trophy awarded by Montana Special Olympics.
Photo by Deb Hill

While attending the Special Olympics basketball tournament in Helena during the weekend of Nov. 11-12, the Patten family from Lewistown was honored as the “2016 Outstanding Family of the Year” for the state of Montana.
Carl, Kaylene, Carsen and Kyle are all involved in Special Olympics in Central Montana. In fact, it might even be said the Patten family is Special Olympics in the local area.
Kaylene is the area director for Special Olympics for Central Montana. Kaylene also serves as a certified coach and local program coordinator for the Central Montana Eagles team. Carl serves as the Central Montana area finance coordinator.  Through their leadership, Special Olympics athletes in Central Montana are able to participate in basketball, track and field, equestrian and cycling events.
What makes Kaylene and Carl such valuable assets to the Central Montana Eagles is their positive and hardworking attitude. They are very organized and are highly motivated to help each and every athlete to be the best they can be. The couple spends many hours each year motivating athletes, looking for volunteers and promoting Special Olympics in the Lewistown and surrounding communities.
Futhermore, Kaylene and Carl are very supportive of their son Carsen, who is a Special Olympian. Carsen is a hard-working, dedicated and enthusiastic athlete. Carsen dedicates his time outside of sports to fundraise on behalf of the Eagles. He is known to always send a hand-written, heart-felt thank-you note to his supporters.
The Pattens first became involved in Special Olympics when Carsen was 8 years old.
“Our first state competition was in Great Falls, and we were just parent volunteers then,” said Kaylene. “Carsen is now 20 years old.”
The Pattens officially took over the management side of the Central Montana area in 2008.
Older son, Kyle participated as a Special Olympic Montana volunteer for several years. He is still active in volunteering with Special Olympics while attending Montana State University in Bozeman.
Not only are the Pattens willing to do whatever it takes for their own sons, but they also take all of the athletes in Central Montana under their wings, like their own. They are even known to include athletes in their family outings and activities. During the summer, the Pattens take time to train the equestrian athletes past the summer games so the equestrians are able to compete and be highlighted in rodeos throughout the state.



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