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Prayers for Humboldt: Canada, world reaching out to bus crash victims

Last Updated Apr 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm EDT

Hockey stick sits on the front porch of a house in Humboldt, Sask., on Monday, April 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canadians around the country and people across the world are paying tribute to victims of the deadly bus crash in Humboldt, Sask., and raising money for their families and those who are in hospital.

The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team was heading to a playoff game in Nipawin when their bus collided with a semi-truck, killing 15 people. Fourteen others were injured in Friday’s crash — some critically.

The tragedy has wrenched hearts, not only in the small community, but around the country and the world.

As the community was coming to grips with the loss, Humboldt resident Sylvie Kellington set up a GoFundMe campaign and raised $1,400 in the first hour on Friday evening. The campaign surpassed expectations, with more than $1 million raised by Saturday afternoon. As of 5:35 p.m. Monday, almost 80,000 people have donated in excess of $6 million.

“There are no words that could express the incredible support the hockey community has seen here. […] Thank you to everyone for your kindness and prayers, your donations, and for sharing this GoFundMe far and wide,” Kellington wrote on Sunday.

Kellington has a son who played for the Broncos Bantam A team this past season.

“Please help us raise money for the players and families affected. Money will go directly to families to help with any expenses incurred,” she said.

Meanwhile, social media users have been reaching out to the small town, sharing photos of hockey sticks left on front porches to pay tribute to those who died in the crash.

The hockey stick tribute gained traction when Winnipeg Jets broadcaster and Humboldt native Brian Munz shared a screenshot of a text message he said he received from a high school friend in the town of 6,000 people.

“Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it … wherever they are,” the screenshot reads, along with a picture of a hockey stick. The tweet has been shared thousands of times.

Teena Monteleone, a Prince Albert, Sask.-based radio host, was among those who left a hockey stick outside.

“Leaving a stick on the porch tonight in support of the @HumboldtBroncos and in memory of (Adam Herold) — an amazing hockey player and young man we had the honour of billeting,” she tweeted.

The campaign was one way among many that people were commemorating the team.

Others promised to wear hockey jerseys on Thursday to show support for those grieving. That day would have marked Herold’s 17th birthday — the youngest member of the team who perished in the crash.

The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks honoured the Humboldt team by wearing jerseys with the word BRONCOS across their name plates during their regular-season finale on Saturday night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks all wore Humboldt Broncos decals on their helmets during games on Saturday night. The latter two teams also wore Broncos-coloured green and yellow lapel ribbons.

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