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World record team celebrates its achievements

Local NewsWorld record team celebrates its achievements

Nearly 40 people, including team members, sponsors and friends, attended a final wrap-up and Guinness World Record celebration event for Doug “the Great” Hunt on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Inside the banquet hall at Brantford’s Best Western and Conference Centre, old articles, photos and various memorabilia regarding Hunt and his achievements, lined the room for guests to look back on.

The event was a chance to highlight not only Hunt, but the team that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make his record attempt happen.

“There were a lot of people behind the scenes that nobody really knows about, and they gave a lot of their personal time to help us be successful,” said Hunt. “It was nice that Dave Levac (Team Manager and Leader) and Randy Papple (Team Logistics and Communication Manager) put this celebration together and I know it seems like it’s a celebration for me, but I’m hoping people understand that this was a celebration for the team and all our efforts to break a world record. We really can’t thank everybody enough.”

Doug “the Great” Hunt signs several copies of his chapter in Brantford’s “Community of Sports Excellence” book during the final-wrap up and Guinness World Record celebration event on Monday, December 11, 2023.

During the event, there was a large emphasis on Hunt’s “why” behind his record.

While Hunt may have been out to reclaim his record, he’s made it clear from the beginning that this was an opportunity to support those who face challenges every day. As the Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Volunteers at Participation Support Services, his “why” was always about raising awareness and funds for the organization.  

“We’ve just been through COVID and we’re a small organization. We don’t get the same support as maybe other organizations do, so we have to work that much harder,” said Hunt. “I want to make sure that everyone is aware, not only did we get a world record as a team together, but we were able to do that in a way that supported others and that was always the idea from square one. People don’t quite understand the challenges the people at PSS live with every day. Some of them don’t have families, some of them are alone, and some of them can’t live the life that we all may take for granted.”

Doug “the Great” Hunt poses for a photo with Ray Burtis and Matt Archer of Craneway Equipment Limited, who donated the cranes for Hunt’s world record attempt, during the final-wrap up and Guinness World Record celebration event on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Throughout the event, members of Hunt’s team took turns speaking about the record holder, the team and the “why” behind it all.

“I was honoured that, with my community involvement, Doug wanted to bring me in to be a part of his rise for PSS,” said Tammy Hunt, Doug’s niece and Fundraising Coordinator. “My heart and passion are with the community, and I wanted to bring in the partnerships I have made throughout the past ten years of being involved in the community, and to get a team together who also had that passion for the community and the cause. I’m very blessed that everybody in the room has been a part of this and I’m very thankful to everybody for volunteering their time amongst working full-time.”

Sherry Kerr, Executive Director of PSS, also shared a few words about Hunt and his achievements.

“He’s been an inspiration to everybody he’s supported over all these years,” said Kerr. “He’s done many jobs throughout his time at the organization, and he is currently our Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Volunteers, and this year, he certainly went out of his way to help us rebound from COVID.”

Sherry Kerr, Executive Director of Participation Support Services (PSS), thanks Doug “the Great” Hunt for his countless efforts in support of PSS during the final-wrap up and Guinness World Record celebration event on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Levac thanked the organizations that contributed to the world record success, including those who donated various supplies like Craneway Equipment Limited and many others. He also thanked the City of Brantford staff, both on the political side and those who were running the events indoors at the tenth anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre renovation. He also expressed his appreciation for the various media that covered the event, as GWR requires media proof to maintain the record.

Shortly after, Levac then called Tammy and Doug, Papple and Kerr to the front of the room to present a cheque for $18,000 to PSS.

The team leader also noted that the donations are still coming in as Hunt has been receiving phone calls from across Ontario and beyond to make presentations about his record.

“Every time he goes somewhere, people are still giving him cheques and the money is still coming in, but this is what we’re donating tonight.”

“Certificates of Thanks” sit on a table for partners, and sponsors to grab during the final-wrap up and Guinness World Record celebration event on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Hunt added to Levac sentiments.

“We didn’t do this record in order for me to make a few bucks, we did this in order to bring awareness to the organization and my job is to do just that,” he said. “I want people to know, if I’m doing a talk at a rotary club or anything like that, and they ask to make a donation to Doug Hunt, I say ‘no, make it out to PSS’ because the whole idea was to support them, not make a few bucks. It has to be that way because the more you help others, the more you help yourself, and I’ve certainly learned that throughout my years.”

Robb Nagy, who took care of the promotions for the On the Record team, had a few words to say before the speeches wrapped.

“Doug is one of the most inspirational people many of us, if not all of us, have ever met. He has the personality, the charisma, and the genuine intent to make everybody’s lives better,” he said. “It speaks volumes that he’s worked for PSS since the first brick was laid. So many people made this event happen, but Doug is the reason why so many people benefit, and so many people believe that they can do what they did not think they could do. He is an inspiration to this community.”

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