Celebrating Matt Haley - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Celebrating Matt Haley

SELBYVILLE, De.- A celebration of the life of Matt Haley who died tragically in a motorcycle accident in August was held Sunday at the Freeman Stage.

Over one thousand people gathered to remember Haley. His sister in law Monica Haley said Matt deserved the big tribute, but he would've disagreed. 

"He would say he doesn't deserve this, but he does. He was very humble and doesn't like the attention, and this is you know wonderful," said Haley.

There were many stories told about Haley's struggles, but everyone commended Haley for his strength, perseverance, and service to his community.  

Haley was awarded the James Beard humanitarian award this year, and as Haley would have wanted his celebration was also an opportunity to give back to the community through the Food Bank of Delaware. Haley's sister in law said she was blessed to be a part of his life.

"Obviously we've known the work that Matt's been doing over the years, but now to see the sea of people that have come out today to celebrate his life, and the impact he's had on Delaware alone has been amazing. Just look around and see the thousands of people here," said Haley. 

Matt was a notable restaurateur who owned eight restaurants in Sussex county. The celebration included lots of food, even some from his latest project the Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen.  

Governor Jack Markell and his wife Carla had Haley over for dinner before he passed away. 

"I was just blown away by the heart and soul he has and the goodness to want to make a difference and give back the gifts he had been given in life. He really learned the hard way, but he learned. The impact he had on the community around him will be felt for generations to come. I just hope all of us can live up to the standard that he set for us," said Markell. 

An unbelievably high standard set by the late Matt Haley.

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