By Kyle Jillson | April 30 2009 11:04

The National Rifle Association has selected one woman to receive the 2009 Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award and three women to receive the 2009 Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award for their outstanding contributions to the Second Amendment and the shooting sports in support of the goals of the NRA.

First up, we will cover the Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award winners.

Presented since 2004, the Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award is named for the first female president of the NRA and recognizes the achievements of women who have worked at the local, state, or regional levels to promote the shooting sports and defend the Second Amendment. This year's winners are:

Susan Bierly, who has worked on and helped promote many NRA programs including Friends of NRA, Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, Women In The Outdoors, Refuse To Be A Victim®, and Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics. A Refuse To Be A Victim® Regional Counselor and an NRA Certified Training Counselor in multiple disciplines, Bierly’s supportive mentoring attitude and extensive networking have established her as an instructor of preference. Since 2006, Bierly has trained more than 1,000 students at NRA programs and other events.

Marlene Duncan has also volunteered countless hours to the promotion of the shooting sports, and is an accomplished shooter herself. Marlene has volunteered for fifteen years with Friends of NRA and has helped direct many Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics in addition to instructing JROTC and NROTC units in her area. Together with her husband, who is also an NRA Training Counselor, Marlene has trained over 3,000 NRA Certified Firearms Instructors since the 1980s.

Donna Vandermolen became the first woman Five-Gun Expert with the International Defensive Pistol Association, who she is also a Safety Officer for. Being a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Personal Protection In the Home Instructor, and a Range Safety Officer, Donna teaches many practical skills to all who are willing to learn. She has a strong interest in introducing women to the use of firearms and helping them learn proper safety habits and firearm-handling skills while overcoming preconceived notions that the shooting realm is for just men.

For more information on both awards, or to find out how to nominate a deserving woman, visit or call (800) 861-1166.

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