2023 Montana Athletes in Service Awardees Announced
Each year at the Brawl of the Wild, MTCC’s CEO Council honors student-athlete volunteers with its Montana Athletes in Service Award.
Below are our 2023 Montana Athletes in Service honorees:
Madison Miller – Salish Kootenai College – Women’s Basketball
Maddie actively addresses food insecurity within her community by dedicating her time every week to volunteer at the local food pantry and participate in Food Box Fridays. Her commitment to these initiatives reflects a belief in the importance of food sovereignty, emphasizing the significance of community members having control over their food systems. Maddie’s involvement in supporting local greenhouses further underscores her dedication to fostering sustainable and local food sources. In addition to her efforts in combating food insecurity, Maddie plays a vital role in supporting the community through weekly fundraisers for local non-profits.
Brynne Hitchcock – Montana State University – Alpine Skiing
Brynne actively contributes to various non-profits in the Bozeman area, showcasing her dedication to community service and volunteerism. She serves on the committee for multiple organizations, demonstrating a commitment to the well-being and improvement of the local community. Her involvement extends to community events such as Haven’s Christmas Stroll and Stroymills Story Time, where Brynne generously volunteers her time and efforts. Through her active participation in these initiatives, she not only supports the local community but also contributes to creating positive and enriching experiences for residents. Brynne’s engagement with non-profits and volunteer activities underscores her commitment to making a meaningful impact on the Bozeman community.
Ben Held – Carroll College – Football
Ben actively engages with the community as a unified partner for the Helena Halos, a Special Olympics team, demonstrating a commitment to inclusive sports and fostering a supportive environment. Simultaneously, Ben holds the positions of vice president and treasurer for the Carroll Special Olympics Club, contributing to the organization’s financial well-being and overall success. Ben’s dedication to community service extends further as a volunteer leader for the Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church youth group, creating positive and enriching experiences for the parish’s youth. Additionally, Ben generously volunteers at the Alliance for Youth in Great Falls, a center dedicated to meeting the physical, social, and emotional needs of vulnerable youth. His active engagement in this initiative reflects his commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young individuals facing challenges.
Sydney Hansen – Montana State University Northern – Women’s Basketball
Sydney is highly active with her team in the community. With basketball alone, she contributes to Havre and the surrounding communities year-round. She has participated in nearly twenty service projects a year for her entire career. This year alone, she has helped the ASA clean a highway
mile in Northern’s name, painted the Hello Walk on campus, helped with our annual Alumni Auction, moved books for the Hill County Library, worked the NLASF Pheasant Jamboree, and helped organize Trunk or Treat which will take place Tuesday. She is also a primary teacher at her church.
Jaylee Azure – Fort Peck Community College – Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Cross Country
Jaylee has positively impacted her community by organizing and running basketball camps for local youth. Her efforts provide valuable opportunities for young individuals to develop skills, build confidence, and foster a love for the sport. In addition to her community outreach through basketball camps, Jaylee is a work-study student at the FPCC Wellness Center in Wolf Point, MT. In this role, she contributes to the well-being and health promotion of community members, further enhancing her positive impact on the local population.
Trajon Cotton – University of Montana – Football
Trajon’s remarkable impact on our community is evident through his extensive commitment, dedicating over 170 hours to various organizations. His involvement in initiatives like Diversity Advocacy underscores his passion for fostering inclusivity and understanding. Additionally, Trajon’s significant contribution to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program highlights his role in potentially saving lives, showcasing the profound impact individuals can have through their service. Furthermore, Trajon actively supports community health through participation in the United Way Midday Moves Project, demonstrating his dedication to overall well-being.
Kasidy Yeoman – Montana Technological University – Basketball
Kasidy exemplifies a deep commitment to community engagement and volunteerism, having dedicated herself to various organizations and events. Her impactful contributions include active involvement in the Knights of Columbus lunch, where she has significantly contributed to community betterment. Kasidy’s participation in the United Way Dress a Child initiative underscores her dedication to positively impacting the lives of local children through meaningful community-driven projects. Moreover, Kasidy extends her compassionate spirit to the Belmont Senior Center, where she actively supports the well-being of the elderly and contributes to creating a positive and nurturing environment for young learners in the Head Start After School Program.
Lexis Hogan – Little Bighorn College – Women’s Basketball
Lexis, a current sophomore at LBHC with a 4.0 GPA, will be joining the women’s basketball team this Winter and Spring. Majoring in Business, she aims to earn her bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution and eventually start her own business on the Crow reservation. Lexis is an active member of the American Indian Club, contributing to the organization of the annual LBHC Pow Wow. In addition to her academic and extracurricular pursuits, she works with foster children, organizing both fun and educational activities.
Tyann Graham – Miles Community College – Women’s Basketball
Tyann serves as the President of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and as a Resident Assistant. She has been active in the schools since throughout her educational experience. She mentors elementary-aged
children, provides opportunities for children to read, learn their alphabet, provides crafts and helps with editing papers. Tyann also played bingo with senior citizens as part of her team. She also helps with multiple summer basketball campus.
Seth Buckman – Flathead Valley Community College – Logger Sports
Seth participates with Underwater Soldiers, a non-profit that offers scuba diving therapy to veterans and first responders with physical and mental trauma. During the summer, they conduct clean-up dives to help keep public swimming areas clean and safe for the community. He’s also a volunteer panel member for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Twice a year, the Flathead Valley Sheriff’s Office hosts CIT training where Seth speaks about topics related to veterans suffering from war trauma and PTSD. This offers an understanding in case a trainee intervenes with a veteran having an episode of rage/violence or undergoing a crisis.
Tanner Harrell – University of Montana Western – Football
Tanner, the current Association of Student-Athletes President (2023-24) and former Association of Student-Athletes representative (2021-23), actively contributes to the community by volunteering at a local elementary school and as a move-in volunteer for freshman move-in day. He is also a generous volunteer with Engine 18—an organization established in memory of a former Bulldog football player. Recognized as an excellent community member, Tanner lends a helping hand by assisting with moving people into homes, supporting the local elderly, and painting benches at the local special needs home. Additionally, he plays a significant role in community holiday events as Santa Claus. In the sports community, Tanner runs a podcast for Bulldog Athletics titled “Barkin’ With The Dawgs” and volunteers as a PA announcer at home events.
Lauren Rodacker – Dawson Community College – Volleyball, Track
Lauren, a student ambassador, helped put together the program book for the District 2C volleyball tournament in 2022 and 2023 and volunteered to help at a DCC fundraising event called the Buccaneer Bash by setting up, running the games, and cleaning up afterward. Lauren volunteered at the Makoshika Arts Festival and a mentorship program at Washington Middle School, where she rarely missed a week to visit her mentee. She has also helped move many people in need into their homes over the past couple of years.
Kaitlyn Landwehr – Montana State University Billings – Cheerleading & Stunt Team
Kaitlyn goes above and beyond when it comes to helping her community and giving back. She has helped with Reading in the Park, Magic City Best Cookoffs, Montana Meth Project, Back to School Backpacks, Christmas Gifts to Warriors Wishes, Strawberry Festival, MSUB Cheer Camp, Lady Outlaws Kids Camp, Out of Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention and Baked Goods giveaway to nursing homes. Most notably, Kaitlyn did a huge painting project for the Montana Meth Project over the summer.