NSU and United Way of NESD celebrate 20th Annual Day of Champions

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) – On April 23, Northern State University student-athletes will team up with the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota in service to the Aberdeen area community.

Saturday is the 20th annual Day of Champions, and the Wolves will spend the day volunteering at various community organizations, performing tasks from cleaning to painting to yard cleanup.

The Day of Champions started in 2002 as a collaborative effort between the NSU Athletic Department and the United Way. Since then, over 2,700 Northern State student-athletes have worked on more than 219 projects with 19,605 hours of labor – which equates to over $200,000 worth of donated labor.

Through Day of Champions and other volunteerism, Northern students, faculty and staff give an estimated $310,365 annually in charitable donations and volunteer for nearly 52,841 hours, valued at over $1.2 million, according to a recent economic impact report released by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

“Over the last 20 years, thousands of NSU Athletes have gone on to be business leaders in their communities,” said United Way of Northeastern South Dakota Communications and Impact Coordinator Angie Cleberg. “Before they have left their sports field to their career field, we get to teach the importance of getting involved in the good works of non-profits. We build the community we want it to be, and for the labor these athletes put in for us, sometimes that’s literally.”

This year, the Wolves will volunteer at 19 locations around the area, including: Aberdeen Community Theatre, Aberdeen Area Senior Center, Aberdeen Family YMCA and Youth Development Center, Aberdeen Aquatic Center, Avera St. Luke’s, Boys and Girls Club, Dacotah Prairie Museum, Journey Daycare, Lee Park Golf Course, Northeastern Mental Health Center, Roncalli Primary and Roncalli High School, Safe Harbor, Storybook Land, Salvation Army, Sanford Health, Westport Community, and YAPA.

“We appreciate everything that the community of Aberdeen does for NSU and our student athletes. The Day of Champions is one small way to show them our level of gratitude,” said Terri Holmes, NSU Senior Associate Director of Athletics. “The best part of this day is that our athletes get a real opportunity to give back, but also gets a first-hand look at all the work these agencies do for the community of Aberdeen.”

The event is sponsored by NSU Athletics, United Way of Northeastern S.D., Eide Bailly, Target of Aberdeen, Twist Cone, Jimmy Johns, QQP, 3M, Dacotah Bank and Aberdeen Sertoma Club.

Follow the Wolves on social media throughout the day for updates from across the region.