Living The Dream

By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2008

Dan Dunn is known for his passion in heading up Sarasota’s All Faiths Food Bank, but his first love was hockey.

“I grew up in New Hampshire and went to college at the University of New Hampshire, where I majored in American studies. I’d always played sports growing up—football, hockey, baseball—and in 1980 there was a worldwide awareness about the United States Olympic hockey team. So I went to Stockholm and played for an athletic club as a goalie and a goalie coach for four years; I knew I wasn’t good enough to play here, and I had a friend who was a coach in Stockholm. It wasn’t a big transition—there were tons of Americans abroad then, and the country is very Westernized; the people loved American cars and Levis jeans. One of my favorite experiences there was getting to meet [American hockey player] Bobby Orr, whom I idolized. He revolutionized the game.

“After Sweden, I moved back to New Hampshire and bought a restaurant. It’s sort of tradition that a hockey coach generally buys a restaurant after he retires, and mine was a pizza/sub/miniature golf place. I spent a few years in the restaurant biz, then moved here to work for Burger King and Bob Furman. I came to All Faiths Food Bank in 2001. Every day that I was in Sweden, I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to live my dream, and I made a promise that I would someday use whatever talent I had to give back to the community. I’ve been with All Faiths ever since; my plan is to retire there.

“I have an active interest in politics, and I love following it—I worked for the Jimmy Carter campaign and ran for Congress in 2000—but I’ll be in nonprofit work forever. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate, and I love what I do. Food is a personal passion for me, too; I love to cook and I enjoy eating. I have a great staff and a dedicated board at All Faiths, and we’re working on some important programs, including a backpack program that will give kids from four Sarasota County schools a backpack of food, and our Bowls of Hope and Giving Hunger the Blues events. We have a lot of great partnerships. Like hockey, it’s all about teamwork.”  

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