The Telegram unsung heroes -
Like most people who want to help others, Brian Hunt doesn't volunteer for praise or recognition.
That doesn't mean he isn't appreciative of an occasional pat on the back. And some thank-yous are more meaningful than others.
Hunt, a 48-year-old who works with ADT Security Service Canada as a commercial account executive, is the president of the Mount Pearl Minor Baseball Association.
He admits there's one 'thank you' that still stands out in his mind.
"When my sister-in-law had a daughter who was struck with a life-altering illness as a teenager, myself and some friends and family decided to run a charity softball tournament to raise money for her medical expenses," explained Hunt.
The event raised thousands of dollars and Hunt said, "My sister-in-law could not say thank you enough. It felt good to be part of that."
Born in Nova Scotia, Hunt, who lives in Mount Pearl, came to this province as a four year old.
"Oh, I'm definitely a Newfoundlander," Hunt said with a laugh.
He was 24 when he did his first volunteer work, running a charity softball tournament with teams made up from employees of companies in Donovan's Industrial Park. The proceeds went to Cystic Fibrosis.
"One of my friend's kids had the illness," recalls Hunt.
His responsibilities as minor baseball boss includes overseeing league operations. That includes everything from taking registrations, hiring summer worker staff, ordering all of the uniforms and equipment and "making sure there is great communication between division directors, coaches, parents and players.
"Communication," Hunt said, " is the key to running any association. Bob Bugden (vice-president) and myself probably have three meetings a week. We also have a great team on the executive that have a real desire to see our league grow and provide a great experience for the kids."
Hunt, who was mosquito division co-director before taking over the president's job, figures his volunteer work takes up about 15-20 hours a week from April to the end of August.
He understands volunteer work is not always appreciated by everyone and knows there will be criticism, but any negative aspects of the job wouldn't make him think of quitting.
"There all always people who want to complain. You can't please everyone. Usually, they are not willing to do the job themselves," Hunt said.
However, he added, "If it is constructive criticism, I will try and do something about it. I got involved to hopefully improve things, not for the recognition."
He was inspired to get involved in volunteer work to raise money for charity.
"I really enjoyed softball and I saw that sport as an opportunity to help. From there, I got into coaching, umpiring and taking positions on softball league executives."
He says it's the satisfaction in little things that keeps him involved.
"When you watch the rookie kids run out on the field in their uniforms and watch how excited they are when a ball is hit or a good play is made, you know you are part of something great," said Hunt, whose son Colin is an all-star goaltender in the Mount Pearl Minor Hockey Association and a shortstop with the peewee AAA baseball team.
Hunt played hockey, badminton and softball growing up, but none at a high level.
"I just really enjoyed playing," he said.
He said he will encourage his son and anyone else to get involved in volunteer work.
"I don't think people realize how important volunteers are. They are the reason communities thrive. Whether it be sports associations or any other community involvement, everyone has the skills to volunteer their time."
His work has not gone unnoticed.
Long-time baseball volunteer Joe Wadden says he's known Hunt for only a few years, but he's already impressed.
"I know he's really interested in minor ball which is great, because you need someone who is really concerned about doing it. He's doing a good job," said Wadden.