Fund Name: Hunt Family Fund
Fund Established: December 14, 2006
Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area
Award: 2013 Award in Philanthropy from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation
Lynn and Paul Hunt talk about success like a musician credits the band.
“It’s a symphony,” Lynn said. “We could never do it alone. We can play our part, but we need others, sometimes in harmony and sometimes to counter our ideas and make us better. I thank every one of them for being there.”
The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation recognized Paul and Lynn Hunt with the 2013 Award in Philanthropy as BLACF celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Lynn and Paul most recently founded Hunt Utilities Group, a coalition of minds focusing on research and development of alternative energies as well as ways to save energy. They simultaneously started Happy Dancing Turtle, a nonprofit group centered on environmental education.
To Paul, philanthropy is much more than money. The giving of time is equally important.
“Not everyone is blessed with the kind of success that allows them to give money,” he said. “But all of us have something equally as valuable—our time. Where would our organizations be without volunteers?”
When it comes to giving, the Hunts credit their parents for a sense of generosity and a belief that it is important to give back to the community. Neither came from a privileged background. Just the opposite. Paul remembers counting tater tots at dinner to make sure everyone got their fair share.
“I know what it is like to go without,” Lynn said. “I know what it is to be hungry as a child. I know it it feels like to be lonely and call the crisis line as a teen looking for someone to talk to.”
Lynn received an unexpected scholarship while at Central Lakes College. It made the difference between staying in school or not. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Concordia College, and then an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
One of the core areas of the couple’s philanthropy is education.
“If you want to change someone’s life, education is a game changer,” Lynn said.Whether it was through education, innovation in energy sources, or philanthropy, the Hunts have been game changers, and the community has been the beneficiary.