In April 2020, Bart Hunter was the well-deserved recipient of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal. Each year, the Government of Saskatchewan formally recognizes volunteers who go above and beyond to make life in Saskatchewan better for everyone. “It was an amazing honour to be awarded the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal. I certainly do not get involved with charitable causes to be rewarded personally, but it is always nice to be recognized for the work that you have done in the community,” says Bart when asked what it means to him to be the recipient of one of Saskatchewan’s highest honours. “This medal could have been awarded to both Cindy and me because she is so supportive of everything I do, and really we do most of it together,” he adds.
When Bart and his wife Cindy moved from Edmonton to Saskatoon in 1982, they did not know many people in the city but that did not last long. “One of my early friends had joined the Saskatoon Kinsmen Club and asked me to attend a meeting with him. I was fortunate to become a member, and many of the people I met through the club have become our lifelong friends,” recalls Bart.
Joining the Saskatoon Kinsmen Club was Bart’s introduction to the world of philanthropy in the new city they had decided to call home. And, paired with Bart’s strong family values, his community involvement in Saskatoon became his way of life. “I feel that in life, you receive more rewards from giving than from getting. To be in a position to be able to give both time and financial resources is the most rewarding thing in the world,” states Bart. “I always tell people that if they want to meet good people, and make new friends, the best way is to get involved in charity work. That is where you meet quality people!”
In 2004, Bart expanded his community involvement by joining the board of directors of the Saskatoon Community Foundation and became its Chair by 2011. But that was not enough, living by his own words, Bart and Cindy decided to create the Bart and Cindy Hunter Fund, through the Foundation, to assist local children’s charities. They have been contributing annually to their fund and in 2019 made their largest donation yet, $100,000. “The fund allows us the opportunity to be strategic around our charitable giving. Being charitable is important for our own happiness, and we look forward to continue to donate to more worthwhile causes in the coming years.”
Whether he sits on non-profit organizations’ boards, rolls-up his sleeves to organize or help out with fundraising events, or makes financial donations, Bart demonstrates time and again his commitment to Saskatoon and its most vulnerable citizens. Cindy and Bart do not hesitate to put people’s needs ahead of their own when it comes to helping the community. They live by one of Bart’s favourite quotes from William James, “the greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast you.” Bart says that for them, “true legacy is knowing that they have contributed something, and for it, they have lived a fuller life.”
Thank you, Bart and Cindy, for your dedication to helping enhance the quality of life in Saskatoon for so many children and young people.