When Taylor Hunt died in a whitewater paddling accident in Ecuador, his parents, Cat Potts and Marc Hunt, and brother Colin Hunt chose to remember him through a fund at CFWNC that supports the causes and activities that gave him joy during his lifetime.
“Grief is hard. How do you reflect the joy and gifts of the person you lost? Opening a fund at The Community Foundation to honor Taylor was a tangible way to stay connected to each other, to rivers, to education and to Taylor,” said Marc.
“We were still in Ecuador working to bring Taylor home when people started contacting us about making donations,” added Cat. “Those calls got us thinking about how we could create a fund reflective of Taylor, how he lived his life and what was important to him.”
“Marc called The Community Foundation from Ecuador and looked at Colin and me as he hung up and said ‘it’s done’. It was on the web the next day, and we were able to work out the details later,” said Potts. “Opening the fund gave us a way to let others participate. It was a welcome vehicle for people who wanted a place to channel their grief and honor Taylor.” More than one hundred friends and community members generously joined Taylor’s family in building the fund to over $100,000 in the weeks that followed.
The Taylor Hunt Fund for Rivers and Outdoor Learning supports river preservation, whitewater river recreation and outdoor learning. Taylor’s family plans to make grants from the fund annually and to spend it down over ten years. The first round of grants were awarded to French Broad River Academy, American Whitewater, Muddy Sneakers and the scholarship fund at Camp Mondamin.
“For us, the fund is a powerful thing. It is a fulfilling way to memorialize Taylor and to remember his positivity. This fund would make him happy.”