Here is a rundown of Sally's celebration of life this past Sunday in Owen Sound.http://www.shorelinebeacon.com/2014/11/10/hundreds-gather-to-celebrate-life-of-sally-hunt-a-beautiful-wild-soul
Hundreds gather to celebrate life of Sally Hunt, a ?beautiful, wild soul?
By Christine Bennett
Monday, November 10, 2014 12:59:53 EST PM
PORT ELGIN - A sea of orange shirts and Boston Bruins jerseys flooded the Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound Sunday, when hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of Sally Hunt, a prominent local resident known and loved for her immense contributions to the community.
Hunt, a driving force behind Pumpkinfest and many other community events, lost her battle to an advanced, aggressive, and incurable cancer last Tuesday.
On Sunday, Hunt was remembered as a strong, courageous, fun-loving woman, who lived her life to the fullest, on her own terms.
Guests were asked to wear orange to the event, to honour two of Hunt?s passions: pumpkins and the Boston Bruins.
John Hunt, her brother-in-law, said he and his brother Rick had a rule that you had to be a Bruins fan to marry into the family.
?Unfortunately, a few Leafs fans snuck through when Rick and I weren?t paying attention, but there was no problem with that as far as Sally was concerned,? he said. ?She was a Bruins fan from the day I met her... It was hard to keep up with her. She knew more about what was going on that I did.?
Hunt?s mother, Jan Chamberlain, an outgoing Owen Sound councillor, asked Maryann Thomas, chair of the Owen Sound Downtown Improvement Area board of directors, to say a few words at the celebration.
?I think Jan thought Pumpkinfest should really be called Sallyfest. To her, it was a celebration of her daughter?s remarkable achievements to organize and pull off a major community event,? Thomas said.
Hunt?s brother, Brian Chamberlain, also spoke, and began by addressing his brother-in-law, Rick. Brian said he visited his sister often after her diagnosis, and they spoke about Rick. He told her their love never seemed in doubt, and she smiled and agreed.
?She summed up the relationship by saying, ?He has always been a good friend.? I can?t think of a more honouring statement from a wife to a husband. To be married and in love is understood. To truly be friends is a great accomplishment for any couple in any marriage,? he said.
Chamberlain then thanked Rick for giving Hunt the best years of her life, saying that they truly did love and cherish each other exactly as they promised they would 13 years ago, in the very same room the celebration was held Sunday.
He said he initially struggled to find the words to capture what Hunt meant to the family, let alone to everyone else, and then he realized the answer was in the messages the family had received.
Those messages described Hunt as beautiful, bright, smart, funny, vibrant, kind, inspirational, wild, sharp, witty, and multiple people mentioned the smile that was always on her face.
?The final message I personally will take from Sally?s life is to recognize joy in each moment. That wisdom made her the bright light that she was, and we should all aspire to do that just a little better. And as we do that, her light will continue to shine,? he said.
Joanne Robbins, general manager of the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce, was there to pay tribute to a woman she ?admired and loved.?
?Sally didn?t enter our lives quietly. That wasn?t her way. If you met Sally, you remembered her. And it?s those memories - her smile, her wit, her humour, her love of life, her keen eye for details, and her no BS attitude - that we can cherish and hold dear at this time when we all miss her so much,? she said.
Robbins remembered Hunt for making Pumpkinfest what it was, saying during her time at the event, it received several awards from Festivals and Events Ontario. The one that Hunt was most proud of was the community involvement award.
?She would always say, this award is for everyone and about everyone, and their dedication to the event. This is a perfect example of her selfless commitment to her community, and may illustrate to you how much we as a community have lost in her passing,? Robbins said.
Hunt grew up in Owen Sound but lived in Saugeen Shores for the past 13 years, where she became immersed in the community.
Deputy mayor Luke Charbonneau, who was a Pumpkinfest volunteer with Hunt, said the town has some huge shoes to fill.
?She was one of those people who works behind the scenes on things that everybody cares about but everybody takes for granted. It wasn?t just Pumpkinfest, it was stuff like fireworks, the Santa Claus Parade, all those things that the chamber does, Sally made it happen,? he said. ?And [Pumpkinfest] would not have been as successful as it has been for the last decade if it hadn?t been for her presence.?
Along with the massive vegetables the festival brings to town, Hunt wanted it to bring knowledge and education about food gardening.
She and Victoria Serda, chair of the Saugeen Shores Community Fund, had discussed putting a garden in town, and Serda regrets that they never got around to it.
?The education part of Pumpkinfest was something that was really close to her heart. She thought that food security was an important issue to work on and she wanted people to really understand how to be able to look after themselves,? Serda said.
Although they didn?t get the opportunity last year, Serda and Joanne Robbins are looking to bring that vision to life by starting a garden at Saugeen District Secondary School to encourage young people to get involved.
?I?m sure that by next Pumpkinfest, we?ll have Sally?s pumpkin patch,? she said.