The recipient of the Special Contributions Award is someone who has made a significant contribution to the counseling profession and has demonstrated a genuine desire to help people. This person does not have to be a member of SDCA to be nominated. 

2021 Winner: Anne Dilenschneider

How Anne has impacted our (transgender) community is impossible to measure, as we are a community always at the risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide.  Spending an hour with Anne has always felt as just a chat, discussing politics, religion, friends, and family. 

While Anne has been most visible during the legislative session, she has been highly involved in community education through South Dakota Public Broadcasting and behind the scene writing letters, and meeting with upper management with health systems to develop gender loving care.

 The impact that Anne has had through each legislative session is immeasurable.  There is so much of what she does behind the scene that the public pieces seem small.  She has been our public face in the news, on talk shows such as On Call with the Prairie Doc, and testifying before legislative committees.  She has even led the charge, rallying health care professions, religious leaders, mental health professionals to band together in developing public statements against the discriminatory bills.  It’s hard to help people understand; however, to Anne, this is not a profession, it is a calling.   In all honesty, many of us, including me, are only alive today because Anne has given herself to supporting us.  There is no one more deserving of such an award.- Stephanie Marty



 Past Award Winners 

  • 2021- Anne Dilenschneider
  • 2019- Rapid City Police Department & the Pennington County Sheriff's Department Pictured: SDCA President Cindy Goehring, Captain Tony Harrision, and SDMHCA President Duane Kavanaugh
  • 2017 - April Hobart                                               
  • 2016 - NAMI of South Dakota Pictured: Amy Sanderson, NAMI Representative
  • 2015 - Senator Soholt
  • 2014 - Senator Tim Johnson
  • 2013 - Avera Behavioral Health
  • 2012 - Ginger Johnson
  • 2010 - Chris Jacobson
  • 2009 - Ann Lewis Henkin
  • 2008 - Kelly Duncan and Dave Johnson
  • 2007 - Beverly Dafler
  • 2006 - Melodee Lane
  • 2005 - Joseph Wehrman
  • 2004 - Char Nickolas
  • 2003 - Kristi Spitzer
  • 2002 - Donna Kegler
  • 2001 - Glenna Fouberg
  • 2000 - Deb Elhard
  • 1999 - Geri Konenkamp