DURAND — Volunteering is ingrained into Daniel Scroggins’ life; a trait that began when he volunteered for the Army.
In recognition for his work, Scroggins Saturday was named the 2019 Shiawassee County Fair’s Volunteer of the Year at the group’s annual meeting and awards.
Scroggins was raised in the Byron area and graduated from Byron High School.
“As soon as I walked across the stage at graduation I handed my mom my diploma and told her I had signed up to be in the Army. My dad knew, but my mom didn’t and they wouldn’t sign for me before that because I wasn’t 18 yet,” Scroggins said.
He said from a young age he knew he was going to serve his country.
Scroggins shipped off to Fort Benning, Georgia, in the summer of 1988 and said up until his retirement 28 years later he moved to a different post about every two to three years. He was stationed in Germany, Japan and Australia, among other places.
“Somehow during my 28 years I was only stationed in the states for about 31/2 years,” Scroggins said.
His time in the Army also included three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scroggins reached the rank of seargent before retiring in 2016. Once he was out, he knew he wanted to return home.
Time spent deployed and away from his family can take a toll, but that he’s glad to be back home in Byron, “where his heart is.”
Shortly after returning home, he began working at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds on the grounds crew and really enjoyed it.
Scroggins was a member of FFA during his youth and had fond memories of the fair.
“I’ve always been interested in the fair but just didn’t know how to get involved. I joined the Shiawassee Dog and Gun Club and met (fair manager) Ric Crawford and shortly after that began working on the grounds crew at the fair,” Scroggins said.
Crawford said the reason Scroggins was nominated as the volunteer of the year was because he found out Scroggins worked his allotted time at the fair — but would then stay for many hours and not clock them.
“Just during fair week, he put in his 40 and then stayed at least an additional 50. When I found out he was working all of these extra hours I said, ‘Dan you have to log those so we can pay you,’ and he just looked at me and said, ‘That’s my donation to the fair,’’’ Crawford said. “That’s the kind of person Dan is and the Shiawassee County Fair wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for people like Seargent Scroggins.”
Crawford said he’s also been a big help during the downtime.
“He’s at the fairgrounds almost every weekend during non-fair week,” he said.
He will do just about anything around the fairgrounds that is asked of him.
Scroggins said a friend told him something about the value of being charitable when he was younger and since then he’s tried to live his life by it.
“Giving your time to others can tell a lot about a man,” Scroggins said. “You can go to work every day and earn a paycheck, but it takes a real man to go and volunteer his time, away from his family and to do things for others.”
Scroggins said the older he gets, the more he realizes just how important volunteering is and how impactful it can be.
About two months ago he had quadruple heart bypass surgery on his heart.
He said he was in the hospital for 37 days and by day 38 he was volunteering at the Shiawassee Dog and Gun Club.
He said there are a lot of reasons he wanted to get involved with the fair, but it’s the people that are his favorite.
“My favorite part of the fair is seeing the community come together and seeing everyone’s faces light up as they come in,” Scroggins said.