February 2020 Winners

Lauren Kelly
Female Athlete of the Month

Lauren has been competing as an athlete for 9 years! She currently competes in bowling, track and field, bocce ball and soccer.

Lauren is involved in more than just sports at Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO). As a Fitness Captain, she leads teams in warm-ups before practice and encourages others to participate in similar leadership roles that inspire everyone to live a healthier lifestyle.

Lauren is a dedicated member of her athletic teams and our leadership programs. Her favorite thing about being a part of Special Olympics is being a team player and helping to make sure all of her friends are having fun.

Congratulations, Lauren, on being this month’s Female Athlete of the Month!


Palmer Lyons
Male Athlete of the Month

Palmer has been competing for Special Olympics Colorado for almost five years now and competes in skiing and cross country.
Just last week, Palmer had the honor of emceeing the Special Olympics Colorado State Winter Games presented by United Airlines alongside Broncos reporter and producer, Alexis Perry.
He also recently competed at the 2020 X Games in Aspen last month. He was partnered up with Gus Kenworthy, a professional skier, and won a gold medal in the first-ever Unified Skiing Competition. “It felt really good [to win gold],” said Palmer. “It was my first time being at the X Games and I never thought I would actually get the chance to win gold.”
The road leading up to the X Games was filled with hard work and training. Palmer said his coach with Team Summit really helped him get better at turning, and since then, he’s been a great skier.
Palmer’s favorite part about skiing? “Going fast,” he says with a smile.
Congratulations on your X Games gold medal and on being recognized as our February Male Athlete of the Month!

Brenda McDowell
Coach of the Month

Brenda has been coaching for Special Olympics Colorado for 11 years. She not only coaches basketball, soccer, flag football, and softball, but has also helped recruit coaches for other teams. She also played a crucial role in the sustainability of the CSU Special Olympics College Program.

Brenda’s favorite memory while coaching was when a mother told Brenda that her son gained more confidence, joined his peers in playing sports during recess at school, and made friends since being part of Special Olympics.

Brenda enjoys coaching for SOCO because she likes to see individuals given the opportunity to be part of a team and feel successful. “It is also special to see and be part of the incredible Fort Collins Special Olympics community that has formed and grown over the years. The friendships formed are priceless, we are truly one big family,” says Brenda. “I am so grateful, thankful and inspired by everyone involved to help make it work, including the amazing athletes, volunteer coaches and partners, parents and providers! It takes a village!”

Congratulations, Brenda! We’re very happy to recognize you as February’s Coach of the Month!

Angela Weist

The Weist Family
Family of the Month

The Weist Family does everything they can to support Angela Weist a former SOCO athlete and current SOCO leader. So much so that Angela’s brother Matt is also a member of the Young Professional’s Board (YPB)!
The Weist Family has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado for 18 years. Angela competed as an athlete from kindergarten through high school and is now an Athlete Leader through the Special Olympics Colorado Athlete Leadership University (ALU). Angela is now a communications major in ALU and is currently working on a blog for SOCO to practice her communications skills. She is a great asset to our program and she balances her work and leadership life well!

Matt is a is the Networking Lead on the Executive Team for YPB. As Networking Lead, he ensures that networking and professional development elements are woven into all of our events and meetings. He organizes networking Happy Hours with structured activities to allow our members to build professional connections, in order to expand their networks and seek out new opportunities for growth.

Thank you for all you do and congratulations on being recognized as the February Family of the Month!


Jeff Evans
Volunteer of the Month

DJ Jeff Evans has been a longtime member of the SOCO family. Since 1987, he’s been a coach, volunteer and Games Organizing Committee Member.

Over the years, he has volunteered countless hours to ensure that our events are the very best they can be by adding music, fun, and creative flair…even stylish wigs!

Whether it’s the Plane Pull, State Winter Games, or one of our many Polar Plunges, Jeff always goes above and beyond in sharing his time and talents. He has a positive attitude and has demonstrated complete selflessness in giving back to the SOCO community. He continues to add joy, laughter, and spirit to our many events throughout the year.

What he enjoys most about being part of the SOCO family is getting onto the state and playing one song that gets the athletes hyped up. “Just like that, we’re all the same,” says Jeff. “Every type of person laughing and enjoying the moment. It never gets old.”

Thank you, Jeff, for all you do and congratulations on being February’s Volunteer of the Month!


Ent Credit Union
Community Partner of the Month

Our Corporate Partner of the Month is Ent Credit Union. Ent has recently joined the Special Olympics Colorado community as a Bronze Annual Partner, and will be the Presenting Sponsor of our Athlete Leadership University (ALU)! They will be applying their decades of financial expertise by helping to develop the financial literacy curriculum for ALU.

Ent is a community credit union with a foundation based in service to their home state of Colorado. Special Olympics Colorado is so excited to welcome Ent Credit Union to the family!