HumboldtStrong Community Foundation raises $4.2M for Broncos families, community

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — A community foundation created in response to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash last April has raised $4.2 million.

The HumboldtStrong Community Foundation took over fundraising responsibilities after a GoFundMe campaign for crash victims raised more than $15 million in a week.

Chairman Darrin Duell says the foundation has doled out much of the additional money it collected.

Of the $4.2 million raised so far, $1.9 million has been given to support the families.

Money has also gone to communities, organizations who helped and scholarships for players who were on the teams that were to play the night of the crash.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 players were injured April 6 when the junior hockey team’s bus and a transport truck collided at a rural intersection while the Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask.

The GoFundMe campaign, which had to be supervised by the courts, paid out $525,000 to each of the 16 families who lost a loved one and $475,000 to each of the 13 players who were injured.

Duell says the foundation’s priority was helping the 29 families who still required financial help.

A total of $1 million was given to the families for health needs and another $250,000 was provided for accommodation, lost wages, transportation and home modifications. There was also $300,000 for scholarships and $350,000 to reimburse the Humboldt Broncos for funeral expenses.

A total of $25,000 went to the Nipawin Hawks, the team the Broncos were to play on the night of the crash, to provide scholarships for its players.

Organizations such as STARS air ambulance, Ronald McDonald House and OSI-CAN, which provides mental-health support to first responders, were given a total of $230,000.

The community of Humboldt received $800,000 to help with memorials and the communities of Melfort, Tisdale, Nipawin and Zenon Park also got money to support first responders who helped with the crash.

“We’ve asked that all of these gifts be put to use in a way that not only honours all those lost and injured, but also the overwhelming response from the public,” said Duell.

Any remaining money will be used to help others in need and honour the legacy of the team.

“As we move forward, we envision the foundation serving as a living legacy to this outpouring of love and community, there to help when lives are turned upside down by sudden tragedy.”

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