Friends, family, and even foster children cared for by Rockford resident Gary Hunt turned out for a benefit in his honor on Saturday. They're pooling their funds to create a memorial for a man who has touched too many lives to count.
"We've had over 300 foster children. We also do Doberman rescue. His life goal was to save people... dogs, kids. You name it, Gary did it,” says Linda Hunt, Gary’s widow.
Hunt was diagnosed with brain cancer at the end of January. He passed away earlier this month.
"The doctors told him he had three to six months but he didn't make it," said Linda.
Hunt's children, by blood and by choice, say he tried to give them everything they asked for.
"He got all us girls out here every summer. He was like your dream dad," said Heather Totz, one of his former foster children.
"My dad is a wonderful man. He stepped up to be my father and he didn't have to," said Tonya Hunt, one of his adopted daughters.
Besides loving his wife and children, Hunt also had a passion for his community.
"We were involved in waterfront, airshow, young at heart. You name it we were involved, board at Boone lake," says Linda.
Linda plans to plant a tree at Boone Lake in Gary's honor. The benefit will pay for his grave stone. Any money left over will go to the numerous organizations that Gary put a life's worth of time and dedication into.