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State Honoree

Kristen Deaton


Kristen Deaton, Putnam City High School, Oklahoma City, founded a softball league for children with special needs. She developed the idea "Anyone Can Softball" with her mother, a pediatric physical therapist. Following a year of planning, the first season began in the spring of 1996 with over 70 players and 60 assistants to the players, called "buddies." After getting national coverage in USA Softball magazine, Deaton is responding to inquiries from other states about starting similar programs.

"I have learned that once you put your heart in something, anything is possible."