MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University, along with the Mitchell community has been selected to receive the 2019 Don Baker Award on behalf of Special Olympics South Dakota. The Don Baker Award is the highest honor selected by Special Olympics South Dakota.
The award is given in honor of Don Baker who was a volunteer and official starter for the Special Olympics events for many years. The award is given annually to an individual, organization, business or agency that has given outstanding support to Special Olympics South Dakota.
"This is such a special honor for our University and the community of Mitchell," Director of Athletics Jon Hart said. "We can't thank SOSD enough for this prestigious award, and the countless organizations and individuals who helped make these events possible. These partnerships and relationships are cherished by our students and staff. We look forward to helping serve SOSD for many years to come."
Over the last two years, DWU and the Mitchell community hosted the State Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. During each of those two years, SOSD has broken the participation record for most teams and participants. This year, DWU welcomed 80 teams, 12 cheerleading squads and multiple individual skills competitors, totaling well over 900 athletes.
Each DWU athletic program and coach volunteered in areas of officiating, keeping scorebook, operating scoreboards, handing out medals and awards, instructing and judging for cheer and much more.
DWU has also hosted the Special Olympics Polar Plunge over the last two years as well as the state softball and bocce ball tournaments.
DWU will accept this award during the SOSD Annual Banquet and Awards Presentation held in Aberdeen, S.D. on Saturday, Nov. 9.