When you’re talking to the right person, a few words can be enough to get a lot done.
It turns out, Ryan Condon is the right person.
Condon, a senior at Rosemount High School and a member of the school’s cross country team the past four years, was on a run last summer with coach Chris Harder when Harder mentioned it would be nice to have a shed at the school to store equipment for the team. He thought it might be a good project for a Boy Scout looking to earn his Eagle Award.
Condon had earned his own Eagle Award developing science curriculum for the CAP Agency, and he didn’t know of any local Scouts working toward the recognition. But he still knew a good project when he heard one.
“I could tell he really wanted the shed, so I had the idea to start fundraising for it,” Condon said.
Condon liked the idea of doing something to give back to Harder. He joined the cross country team as a freshman as a way to stay in shape for the winter downhill ski racing season, but he fell in love with the sport. And in Harder he found a coach who could help him with more than just being a better runner.
In a speech at this year’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, Condon, whose father died of kidney cancer in 2008, called Harder exactly the kind of positive person his father told him to seek out.
“Harder has been an important figure in my life. He’s been a great mentor and a great coach,” Condon said this week. “I believe I wouldn’t be in the same position I am today without him.
“He’s coached us and taught us about more than just running. He’s taught us humility and giving thanks for everything we’ve been given.”
Apparently there are others who feel the same. Condon went to his teammates to ask for donations. With the help of another coach he reached out to alumni, and to Roy Griak, who was Harder’s coach when he ran at the University of Minnesota. He suggested $15 donations and hoped to raise around $1,300 to put toward the shed.
He collected $2,003.42. The extra money went to Harder. Condon presented the donation at the team’s season-ending banquet on Sunday.
“It felt really good, because everyone on the team got together on this and really helped out, which is something I’m really proud of,” Condon said. “The cross country team was really close and the fact they were able to get together and donate money for a cause was really humbling.”