John & Marie Condon of Millboro are among the South Dakotans who will be recognized by South Dakota Farmers Union for giving back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award which will be presented during a ceremony held at the South Dakota State Fair on the Freedom Stage at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 1. All are welcome to attend.
John and Marie Condon have been 4-H volunteers for more than two decades. Their son, KC, likes to tease them about their dedication.
“He says he graduated from 4-H in 11 years, but John and I must have flunked because it’s 22 years later and we are still involved,” Marie says.
Of all the 4-H projects he participated in, shooting sports was the area that KC enjoyed most. So, when there was a need for volunteers, John and Marie became certified shooting sports instructors.
“We saw that it was so good for the kids and that they needed volunteers,” Marie says.
John adds, “It teaches kids safety. They have to learn safety before they can participate. I know firearms are dangerous. But, if they are handled right, they aren’t.”
From the beginning, KC excelled, qualifying for state and national competitions. Marie and John did more than tag along. Since 2006, they have served as range officers for the national muzzle loader event.