We’re proud of all our athletes, both for skill and sportsmanship. Our athletes embody the Olympic Oath: LET ME WIN, BUT IF I CANNOT WIN, LET ME BE BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT.  Each year we recognize our athletes and volunteers with awards reflecting our respect and appreciation.

2018 Spirit Awards

John Sullivan Award: to those whose actions demonstrate the true meaning of Good Sport.
2018:  Leon Johnson and Mariana Hughes

2017: James Thompson and Carol Pierce
2016: Lee Gordnier and Tonya Patterson
2015: Joe Wiik and Signe Larson
2014: Jessie Ortega and Maya Rivera
2013: Stephan Johnson and Amber Lauer
2012: Mat Krohn and Cassie Leland
2011: Khari Richberg and Meghan Zellmer
2010: Tanner Dockter and Bonnie Schilman
2009: Dan Pratt and Melissa Kappes
2008: Mark Halvorson and Teresa Christ
2007: Charlie Wollin and Bridgette Wang
2006: Katie Yanez and Ken Goossen

Kathy Wells Award: to those who exemplify if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
2018:  Travis Vang and Andrea Howlett

2017: Nicole Noblet/Scott Davis
Rosie McDonough/Austin Bernier
2015: Kim Dunker/Robert Kviberg


John Sullivan Award

John “Sully” Sullivan was an inspiration to the South Region Stars. Always happy and encouraging and ever so polite, John demonstrated through his actions the true meaning of Good Sport. Since 2006, it has become our tradition to honor two athletes in his memory (one male and one female) who exemplify this spirit.
John Sullivan Award

Kathy Wells Award

Given in memory of Kathy Wells, this award is presented annually to a male and female who try hard and, in the process, demonstrate the true meaning of the last line of the Olympic Oath: if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
Kathy Wells Award

Susie Volbrecht Tribute

Susie was an original member of the South Region Stars, going back to 1991. She was full of spirit and very active in those early days. Sadly, Susie passed away in November 2017; the team paid tribute to her by honoring co-athletes Ricky Willox and Richard Hannegraf with an award in her name.
Susie Volbrecht Tribute

Marcie Padgett

In 2017 we recognized the contributions of Marcie Padgett, who co-founded the South Region Stars in 1991 with just a handful of athletes. Today she manages a year-round program for more than 150 athletes. She brings to our delegation her incredible attributes that not only serve Special Olympics of Minnesota but enhance the experience of every athlete with whom she comes in contact.
Marcie Padgett

Hank Halvorson Award

Given in memory of Hank Halvorson, long time coach and volunteer with the South Region Stars, to families and individuals who exemplify the spirit of Hank by assisting with fundraising efforts extraordinaire.
2018: Barb and EJ Wang
2017: Kurt and Chris Krohn
2016: Pat and Michelle Quinlan
2015: The Richburg Family
Hank Halvorson Award

Hank Goers Award

Given to the families, parents, or staff who demonstrate extraordinary kindness by being there for any athlete or any effort requiring assistance.
2018: Deb Howlett
2017: Jeff and Melanie Johnson
2016: Pat Davis
Hank Goers Award

Shooting Star Award

Given only on occasion to individuals whose efforts enrich the team on a continuing basis, both on and/off the field.
2017: Don & Kathy Tarasewicz
2016: Cathy Johnston
Shooting Star Award