HURON, S.D., Sept. 4 -- The South Dakota Farmers Union issued the following news release:
Six people were honored Saturday, Sept. 1, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair for selflessly giving back to their communities. Larry Schelle of Groton, Bonnie Wagner of Doland, Lynn and Dianne Perry of Bancroft, Robert Rutten of Arlington, and Masako Gould of Sioux Falls were the 2012 recipients of the Rural Dakota Pride Award from the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation. The Rural Dakota Pride Award was established in 2007 to recognize individuals who have made a difference through their volunteer and service efforts in their local community.
After growing up West River, Larry's career path led him to operate several lumber yards across South Dakota. The family business, S & S Lumber Company, is now a cornerstone in the Groton community. Larry is involved in many community organizations, including Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club. He not only donates his precious time, but also provides financial support and supplies through his business. Larry and his wife Jan have seven children and six grandchildren.
Bonnie Wagner has worked hard to promote the economic development of Doland and Spink County. She is a founding member and continues to serve on the Doland Pride committee, Doland Wellness Center Board, Doland Housing Committee and Grow Spink. She is President of the Sherwood Memorial Library Board in Doland and is actively involved Redeemer Lutheran Church. Bonnie runs her own business as a Farmers Union Insurance Agent. She's been in the insurance business for more than 25 years. Bonnie says she's proud to be from Doland and enjoys the people who live there. When asked why she gives so generously of her time she says, "It's important to take care of where we live." Bonnie has three children and three grandchildren. In her free time she enjoys playing golf and traveling.
"Our job is to help everyone walk an inch taller." If you ask Robert Rutten of Arlington why he stays so involved in his community, that's the answer he'll likely give. Robert is President/CEO of Citizens State Bank in Arlington. He leads by example through his involvement in Arlington'sChamber of Commerce, Development Corporation, Community Foundation, Community Day Care Board and the Golden Living Center Advisory Board. Robert's volunteerism extends beyond the local community. He's on the Board of Directors of the Human Service Agency, a past-President of the South Dakota Banker's Association, is a member of the VFW and Knights of Columbus. Robert is a member of St. John's Catholic Church in Arlington and takes part in the parish's Living Nativity presentation. Robert and his wife Maureen have four children and two grandchildren.
LYNN & DIANNE PERRY
Lynn and Dianne Perry have a passion for promoting the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association. They maintain a flock of 500 commercial ewes and feed out lambs on their farm near Bancroft. For the past 20 years, Lynn and Dianne have gone above and beyond to share with others the benefits of sheep and wool. But the Perry's service to the community goes beyond their dedication to South Dakota Sheep Growers. Lynn has been on the Township Board for more than 30 years, and is a member of the American Legion following his service to our country in Okinawa, Japan. Dianne is active in local Extension Clubs, has been a 4-H leader and helps with Achievement Days in Kingsbury County. She's active in the Ladies Aid and helps with Sunday school and Bible school. The Perry's have three children and two grandsons. When asked why they give so much of their time to their community, Dianne says volunteering gives them a great sense of satisfaction.
Masako Gould moved to South Dakota in 1970 and has been making her mark as a volunteer ever since. Born in post-war Japan, Masako came to America and achieved her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. It is out of gratitude for her citizenship that inspires Masako to give so generously of her time. She has volunteered more than 2,000 hours at Sioux Falls' Outdoor Campus since 2004. There, she helps with everything from greeting visitors to tying flies for fishing classes. Masako also volunteers at the Sertoma Butterfly House, the Good Samaritan Society, and Avera McKennan Hospital where she offers a smiling face for those who are about to undergo surgery in the Ambulatory Care Department. Masako and her husband, Mike, have 2 children and six grandchildren.
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