Hometown Heroes

The Hometown Hero Award recognizes an individual or organization that has shown superior willingness and dedication to the tourism industry in the Aberdeen area. Hometown Heroes work hard and selflessly to ensure that their group's meetings, conventions, or events are held in the community. Visitors that attend these special events fill the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and retail outlets. The dollars they spend have a tremendous impact on the welfare of our city. By going the extra mile to bring in visitors, Hometown Heroes help ensure the economic vitality of the community continues to thrive. 

The winner of the 2016 Hometown Hero Award is the SD Senior Games Aberdeen Committee. 

SD Senior Games Aberdeen Committee

                            Mark Kolb and Owen Weller with the (SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee)

  In 1984 the Division of Adult Services and Aging of the South Dakota Department of Social Services established the South Dakota State Senior Games.   The purpose was to encourage senior athletes to become involved in, as well as maintain on-going physical exercise.  The State Games have served as a very significant motivation for hundreds of seniors from South Dakota as well as seniors in other geographical locations as they prepare to participate in this State-wide event, as well as other Regional and National Senior Games Competitions. 

  In 2008 Aberdeen successfully bid to host the 2015 and 2016 SD State Senior Games with the 2016 SD State Senior Games being the qualifying year for the National Senior Games held in Birmingham, Alabama. With the open enrollment of the SD State Senior Games Aberdeen, became the host city for athletes from the surrounding states of South Dakota as well as athletes from states like Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Texas.

  The 2015 and 2016 SD State Senior Games spanned four days each year with athletes competing in 28 different athletic events. Some of those events include Archery, Golf, Bowling, Softball, Pickleball, Swimming, Cycling, Bean Bag Toss, Billiards, Shuffleboard, with the largest event being Track and Field. Athletes for these events totaled over 1200 for both years combined.

  The SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee was responsible for bringing volunteers together for this two year event. With the help of the local SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee and Aberdeen volunteers we were able to make this happen. Volunteers involved included the Aberdeen Running Club, Aberdeen Swim Club, Aberdeen Cycling Club, Aberdeen Parks and Recreation, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Gun Club, Aberdeen Senior Center, Aberdeen Youth Wrestling, Northern State University and Presentation College. All of these organizations were brought together with the guidance of the SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee. We received feedback from athletes telling us this is the best SD State Senior Games they have ever attended.

  With the leadership of the SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee we will once again bid to host the SD State Senior Games in 2019 and 2020.

  Please join us in thanking our 2016 Hometown Hero Award winner the SD State Senior Games Aberdeen Committee.

Past winners of this award include Eugene Smith (2005), Aberdeen Baseball Association (2006), Gene Brownell (2007), Yelduz Shrine (2008), Pat Timm (2009), Gregg Odde (2010), Coach Bob Olson (2011), Aberdeen Running Club (2012), Aberdeen Swim Club (2013), Aberdeen Aqua Addicts & SD Film Festival (2014), Hub City Soccer Club (2015).