Scott Lovell’s front door is one of the many in the Okanagan where hockey sticks have been placed for the last few days as an homage to the 16 people who died in a Humboldt, Saskatchewan bus crash.
“We’re a hockey family,” said Lovell. “My stepson is a goalie for the Seattle Thunderbirds, and both of my stepsons have ridden those buses for half their lives … this horrific accident hit home for all of us — we haven’t had a dry eye in the house all week.”
Lovell isn’t alone. Reaction to the Humboldt crash has sparked a national phenomenon. It 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.
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“Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it … wherever they are,” the screenshot read, along with a picture of a hockey stick.
It was just one way people remembered those lost in the crash. Many others were moved to take part in the jersey challenge Thursday.
Jerseys were omnipresent in schools, places of businesses and on the street across Canada Thursday, due to the tragedy that captured the world’s attention. Lovell, alongside his fellow Central Okanagan bus drivers, took part in that as well.
“It could have been any of us,” Lovell said, of the bus drivers participating. “Many of our drivers come from over the road, and highway coach, and have done that in their careers … many still do. I will be wearing my step son’s jersey.”
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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.
More than $9.8 million had been raised online for the victims and their families by Thursday morning.
There were a number of events dedicated to Humboldt in Kelowna on Thursday. At the Capital News Centre,an honorary game was played at 7 p.m. All funds raised will go to the GoFundMe account.A gathering for a moment of silence took place at the Prospera Place parking lot at 4:15 p.m. and the BCHL West Kelowna Warriors also hosted a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. in the Royal Lepage Place courtyard.
The Capital News was at all of these events. Go to Kelownacapnews.com for the full stories.
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