April 7, 2017
The Dillon Jaycees Annual Distinguished Service Award was presented to Kevin Engellant this year for his dedication to the community.
Engellant has been a full-time professor at Montana Western for 8 years, and this award is the culmination of over 27 years of work with the local youth.
The Dillon Jaycees are a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the community. Some of their annual events include a Fourth of July fireworks display, an Easter egg hunt, and a fundraising tailgate for the University of Montana Western’s athletics department.
Professor Engellant has been a long-time resident of Dillon, Mont.. “ I came to Dillon in 1986 as a college freshman. It’s been 31 years, and I still love it here. It’s a great place to raise a family.” Engellant said.
After graduating from Montana Western, Engellant was immediately hired by the Beaverhead County High School. In the ensuing years, he coached basketball first at the high school, then at Montana Western for the women’s team. He resigned as head coach in 2009.
Currently, when he’s not teaching business courses, Engellant gives back to the community with his “Hook a Kid on Golf Program.”
“This will be my fourth summer. The idea is to get kids introduced to the game of golf, learning the rules and the etiquette.”
I asked Engellant if it was difficult getting children interested in the game.
“Sometimes at first, but once they start learning how to play and have some success they’re hooked. It’s a great game because you can play your whole life,” he said.
The first year of the program 60 children participated, and all of them walked away with a set of golf clubs.
His wife, Roxanne Engellant, nominated him for the Distinguished Service Award. In her nomination letter, she talks about his involvement with a summer program for kids.
“Kevin started helping with the Beaver Shooting Camp in 1991, and he continues to coordinate the camp each summer. When he comes home exhausted at the end of a full day, I often ask him when he might give it up, but he knows that it gives the youth in our community an opportunity to kick-start their summer with a basketball in their hands,” she said.
Besides golf and basketball, Engellant has also coached baseball, soccer, and football. “If we had lacrosse available in this area, he would be the first to research the best way to coach it to the youth in our community,” Roxanne Engellant said.
After decades of service to the city of Dillon, Professor Engellant’s recognition by the Jaycees is well-deserved.