Amy Hunter loves the arts.
Art has always been important in the Staples resident's life and she shares her love with others, including students through the Staples Motley Area Arts Council.
It was Hunter's work with students that led to her being named Staples Citizen of the Year. Hunter will be honored Thursday at the Staples Community Foundation Outstanding Community Service Award Celebration at T Maxwell's in Staples. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:30 p.m.
Amy Hunter conducted training Monday through her work with the Freshwater Education District in Staples. Hunter will be honored Thursday at the Staples Community Foundation Outstanding Community Service Award Celebration at T Maxwell's in Staples. She was named Staples Citizen of the Year. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
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Last movie you saw in the movie theater: Julie and Julia.
Book sitting on your night stand: 'No Ordinary Time,' the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor is a big role model for me.
Something you'd like to do in the next 10 years: Two things: Fly solo in a small airplane and go to Italy.
If you were a flower, what type of flower would you be and why: A stargazer lily, they are exotic, fragrant and absolutely beautiful.
A trait you admire in a friend: Someone to talk with, share ideas, challenge each other and yet be supportive and believe in the best of each other.
A phrase you often say: Take care.
A memory you will never forget: Standing on top of the mountain in Austria swirling around like Julie Andrews in the opening scene of the 'Sound of Music.' It was a dream trip for me.
If you won the Powerball you'd: Start a foundation to support the arts and historic preservation in rural communities in Minnesota and then I would buy a Mercedes Convertible or a Mini-Cooper.
A perfect meal: All organic. Fresh greens from my garden with homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing, salmon with rice pilaf, mixed garden vegetables, a glass of wine and something chocolate or caramel for dessert eaten with family and/or friends.
Others who'll be honored at the celebration include: Dick Donat, who earned the Duane R. Lund Award for Lifetime Achievement; Harriet Dent, Chairman's Award; Staples World, Business of the Year; Still Cruisin' Car Club, Organization of the Year; and Jenna Nypan, Youth of the Year.
The event - a time to honor and encourage community involvement - was established in 2004 when Duane R. Lund was honored for his lifetime achievement of contributions to the Staples area.
The Staples Community Foundation is a component fund in partnership with the Initiative Foundation. Its mission is to develop and strengthen community resources and to enhance the quality of life of individuals, families and organizations in and around the Staples community.
Judy Jenkins, a retired business owner in Staples, nominated Hunter because of her work with the arts council and the Staples Historical Society. Hunter said she was shocked when she received a letter in the mail about the honor in July. She was sworn to secrecy and couldn't tell anyone about the honor until the announcement in the Staples World newspaper, which was made around Labor Day.
Hunter said when she received the letter she started to cry.
"I didn't cry because I was happy I won it," said Hunter. "I felt I was not worthy of it because everything I do is a team effort and it wasn't fair that they singled me out. You can't do this stuff alone. I felt bad. I organized it but others helped. When you live in a smaller community you have to be part of the solution, otherwise you're a part of the problem."
Hunter joined the arts council when she moved to Staples 16 years ago. Before moving to Staples, Hunter was a teacher in Eagle Bend for 15 years and she was involved in the arts in Eagle Bend, Wadena and Bertha.
Hunter took piano lessons as a child and was involved in theater in high school and college. Hunter has been mostly into music and theater, but loves all the arts. Hunter lives by a quote that she paraphrased as, "You don't need the arts to make a living, but the arts make life worth living."
"The arts is the spice of life and is about creativity," said Hunter. "It takes the drudgery out of life. In Staples we bring in really great musical and theater enjoyment that you can be part of. We've had a lot of opportunities. I talk to friends who live in the cities and they're amazed at how much stuff we have here in Staples."
Hunter was the president of the arts council last year and is on the board of directors this year. The arts council was formed in 1969.
Hunter has been involved in the Staples Historical Society for years and was president in 2008. Hunter said she was interested in the historical society because her father worked for the railroad in the Twin Cities area and Staples is a railroad town. Hunter said the Depot that is currently being restored is the last historic piece of the railroad heritage.
Hunter is involved in the Staples Area Women's Chorus, United Methodist Church Choir, Lamplighter Community Theater in Staples and a member of the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. Hunter also volunteers for the Crisis Line and serves on the Minnesota Childcare Resource and Referral Network Board.
When Hunter is not volunteering, she is working as an independent consultant for the Freshwater Education District. Hunter worked for the district for nearly 20 years as a program coordinator. She works with the drug and violence prevention programs, community education program and the gifted, creative and talent program.
Other awards Hunter, who has two adult children and one grandson, has won include the Staples Motley Community Award for her contribution to the arts in 1996; the Minnesota State Art Board Volunteer of the Year in 1994; Eagle Bend Teacher of the Year in 1982; and Secondary Vocation Director of the Year in 1999.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@ brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.
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