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Cornelius News

Cornelius veteran sets sights on Boston Marathon

Photo: Hayley Pethel Photography. Hollis Hunt running to raise money for homeless children, honor ‘brothers’ who died in Afghanistan

By Dave Yochum. A young Cornelius Army veteran hopes to raise $10,000 for Horizons for Homeless Children in time to run in the Boston Marathon April 17.

Hollis Hunt, who runs eight miles at the drop of a hat, says he’s doing this because his wife’s cousin is actively involved in Horizons for Homeless Children, a well-regarded non-profit dedicated exclusively to serving young homeless children and their families.

Hunt, 29, and his wife Mary, an occupational therapist for Cabarrus County Schools, live in Antiquity with their son Wyatt, who is nine months old.

“Over the years we’ve learned a lot about Horizons (horizonschildren.org) and donate to them every year.  Not only are they leading the fight against homelessness and social issues in Boston, but they are providing cutting edge research and education in order to assist similar organizations to combat this pressing social issue across the country,” Hunt says.

He knows combat, having served in the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion U.S. Army and National Guard for nine years.

In fact, Hunt will run in honor of “my fallen brothers from my time in Afghanistan” and the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

How to contribute

Campaign page: goo.gl/U2zpVR

Or visit crowdrise.com and search  Hollis Hunt

Charity: Horizons for Homeless Children

Total # of runners: About 27,500 in 2016

Amount raised by Hunt so far: $2,325

Goal: $10,000

Hollis’ Diet: Paleolithic, more or less

Favorite food: Sushi

Contact info:  hollishunt503@gmail.com

“Horizons gave me that opportunity and also a chance to further their cause.  I have always had a heart for children, especially underprivledged children, and this is the best chance I have to give back,” Hunt says.

He’s raised $2,325 so far toward a goal of $10,000. He has until the day of the historic marathon itself which has been run every Patriot’s Day since 1897. It’s open to runners 18 or older from any nation who have recently completed a standard marathon course certified by a national governing body. But that’s not Hunt. He’s one of 2,500 or more charity runners who run for two dozen charities that will together raise some $10 million.

So far Hunt has run as much as 14 or 15 miles; he runs two miles in about 12 minutes, eight miles on Mondays, something less two or three other days of the week. He cross-trains on off days, watches his diet—”I eat for fuel”—and works at Whole Foods where he receives deliveries and stocks shelves 32 hours a week.

A recent graduate of American Military University with a degree in environmental sciences, Hunt ran cross country and played soccer in high school as well as wrestled.

The Hunts met in 2010. When Hunt’s active duty was finished in 2012, he joined her in Cornelius. “We moved away to Charleston in 2013 so I could pursue a career as a firefighter, but felt like home was calling and came back to Cornelius in August of 2015,” Hunt says.

“As I pursue career opportunities, I’m soaking up all the time I can with our almost 9-month-old son,” Hunt says, explaining that he still serves in the National Guard. Their son, nicknamed “‘Bear,’ keeps us on our toes.”

Hunt, who grew up in Lexington, says this will be his first marathon. The charitable aspect motivates him.

“I have always had a heart for children, especially underprivledged children, and this is the best chance I have to give back,” he says.