Volunteer Spotlight: Dedicated Edina dad wins Connecting with Kids award

by | Dec 2023

Volunteer spotlight Daniel Hunt

Photo: Rachel Nadeau

Daniel Hunt is one of those people in our community who do charitable work yet are too modest to talk about it. When he got a phone call that he’d received a Connecting with Kids Leadership award, he says he was humbled.

“I’m not interested in people saying to me, ‘Hey, you did a great job.’ It was an opportunity to talk about some of the things I do and why I do them,” Hunt says.

Hunt received the award for building up the Edina wrestling program, which was resurrected in 2014 after a 20-year absence. Hunt’s son, Devan, was a team captain and it is tradition for the team captain’s parents to help with the team. But, wrestling coach Josh Burhans says Hunt went over and above and that’s why he nominated Hunt for the Connecting with Kids award.

“I don’t know if the wrestling program would be where it is at today if Dan wasn’t involved,” Burhans says. “He helped us start our wrestling booster club. His leadership around that and the recruiting of parents and making people feel they’re part of the program and getting them involved. He’s just a very organized and in-the-know guy. Anything that we had questions on, he’d have a contact for it.”

When asked about starting the wrestling team, Hunt says he enjoyed promoting them and even had them introduce themselves to the mayor during a City Council meeting. “I just got very into it and tried to get the team a lot of exposure,” Hunt says.

Julie James also nominated Hunt for the award. The parent and former Edina teacher says Hunt always plays down his involvement.

“He’s extremely humble, extremely modest. You’d never know what he does behind the scenes for whatever program he’s volunteering for,” James says. “He’s doing it for the right reasons: just to help out and make somebody else’s life easier by what he can do.”

Hunt’s son graduated two years ago. He was also on the rugby team. Hunt continues to support both wrestling and rugby by hosting events at his home.

“I like it. I feel an obligation to help these organizations,” Hunt says. “When it comes to athleticism I have very few skills. I’m a good organizer.”

Evidence of Hunt’s organizational skills can be found throughout the community. He coordinated the Pints for People Oktoberfest for Edina Morningside Rotary. He also is a part of the Edina Athletic Booster Club and organized their beginning-of-year picnic. And as a board member of A Better Chance (ABC), he isn’t afraid of hard work. Over the summer, he helped renovate the house where the ABC students stay. Hunt’s son now plays for the University of Minnesota’s rugby team, and Hunt arranges meals for the night before matches. He believes in giving back wherever life takes him.

“My hope is some 45-year-old father of a freshman hears something or sees something and says, ‘Oh, I could do something like that,’” Hunt says.
Even though his plate seems full, Hunt is always looking for something new. In the future, he hopes to increase Edina’s influence on the Twin Cities.

“Edina Schools and the high school have a lot more attributes than a lot of other school districts,” Hunt explains. “I’m working on some ideas … but I just think there’s capacity there and it’s good for kids in Edina schools to be involved with kids outside the school district … whether it’s metro wide or maybe it’s elsewhere.”


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