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Patterson honored for his service
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Sunrise Rotary President Jamie Kreyenbuhl, left, presents Frank Patterson Sr. with the clubs Service Above Self Award for 2011. The club also made an additional donation to Boy Scout Troop 295. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

As the Sunrise Rotary Club recipient of the Service Above Self Award, Frank Patterson took very little credit for his work.

The longtime Scoutmaster deferred the praise to his wife, Michelle.

“I wouldn’t have been all those places and done all those things without her,” Patterson said. “It’s good to know when you go home there’s someone to support you.

“Who would have thought there was an award for it, baby?” he said to his wife.

A Chicago native, Patterson’s family eventually settled in Guyton when he was in the fifth grade. When their oldest son turned 12 in 1995, Frank Sr. became a Scout leader and later Scoutmaster of Troop 295.

In 16 years, 36 Scouts from Troop 295 have earned the Eagle Scout distinction, including a record 12 in 2010. Only one in 200 Boy Scouts reach Eagle Scout and it could take as long as five years to do it.

“We’re trying to teach them a better way,” Patterson said. “Imagine having to grow up in the world they have.”

The Pattersons’ three sons have continued service in a variety of ways since the end of their Scouting days. The eldest, Frank Jr., has been in the Georgia Army National Guard for 11 years and has done a tour of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Son William was recruited to the National Guard by his big brother and served a combat tour in Afghanistan. He is now majoring in construction management at Georgia Southern University. The youngest, Joshua, will graduate from the University of Georgia with majors in religion and history. He has been on three mission trips with the Wesley Foundation, including a trip to Bulgaria.