Joseph Hardy III, the founder and chief executive officer of the 84 Lumber Company and still a physical fitness marvel at 90, has been awarded a Distinguished Service Award (DSA) by the United States Sports Academy.

Joseph Hardy III, of 84 Lumber Co., recently received his 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

Hardy is a classic American success story. He rose from a college student selling home-grown vegetables door-to-door to the man behind the largest privately owned building materials suppliers in the country.

His success goes beyond the company located in Eighty Four, Pa. Hardy also founded the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which includes facilities for winter sports (downhill and cross-country skiing, skating, sledding and hiking), as well as an equestrian center, shooting ranges and two 18-hole golf courses. He has hosted a PGA Tour event, the 84 Lumber Classic, on his Woodlands course since 2003.

I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am for the prestigious medal award I received,” Hardy said recently. “I thank you all very much. The recognition truly means a lot to me.”

Hardy, a model of self-discipline, inspires many by remaining physically fit and maintaining a regular fitness regimen. He provides support to a number of charities through his sports ventures. The 84 Lumber Classic raised more than $4.1 million in its first three seasons for charity, and additional $1.2 million for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005.

Various events at Hardy’s Nemacolin resort have helped raise millions of dollars for cancer research and the Boy Scouts of America.

The DSA is given annually to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research or service. Hardy, who was actually chosen in 2010 for the award, recently received it during a presentation from Joe Szlavik, who is the Academy’s chairman of the Board of Visitors.