Brandon, MB. – Like they have done so many times before, western Manitobans have come together and shown tremendous support for a very worthy cause.
The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that due to the generosity of a number of valued partners and the local hockey community, close to $35,000 has been raised this week for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos.
Sixteen of the 29 people on board the Broncos’ bus were lost last weekend in a tragic collision with a semi-truck north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The team was on its way to Nipawin for an SJHL Semi-Final playoff game.
This week’s donations were made during the Wheat Kings two WHL playoff games against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes and made possible thanks to the support of a number of corporate partners, including Brandon Source for Sports, Westoba Credit Union, Heritage Co-op, 94.7 Star FM and Q Country Radio.
In addition to cash donations received by the hockey club, the funds were generated through a number of fundraising initiatives this week, including a pre-game Tailgate Party Fundraiser at Heritage Co-op, before game four of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final series on Wednesday night.
While the Tailgate party raised over $15,000 alone, Westoba Credit Union raised $2,600 at Wednesday’s special Chuck-a-Puck and close to $7,000 was generated during game three on Tuesday night, through youth t-shirt sales and a Wheat Kings game worn jersey raffle. The jersey, which was worn by former Brandon right-winger Scott Glennie, featured a BRONCOS name bar on the back.
While the youth t-shirts that featured #HumboldtStrong were donated by Source for Sports, the local retail store has also sold $10,000 worth of adult t-shirts.
Source for Sports has confirmed that a second large order of shirts have also been sold, meaning another large donation from Brandon Source For Sports is expected to make its way to the Broncos and City of Humboldt in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile Leech Printing came on board in a big way by donating 3,000 lapel “HB” decals that were distributed to fans attending game three Tuesday night as well as providing a giant banner for fans to sign during Wednesday’s tailgate party. The banner, featuring messages of support from westman hockey fans will be shipped to the SJHL club.
The majority of the donations will go directly to the Broncos, while the money from the tailgate party will be matched by Federated Co-operatives Limtied (FCL) in Saskatoon and will be submitted to a new program, known as the SJHL Assistance Fund, designed to provide support for all players affected by last week’s accident.
SJHL President Bill Chow says the money collected in the new fund is intended to help families who lost loved ones, but also other players within the league who are grieving and may need access to counselling services.
“We need to support those other eleven teams and those players and families that may, down the road need some support at some point in time through counselling or whatever the case may be,” Chow said earlier this week.
The Wheat Kings are one of several WHL clubs helping to facilitate donations for the Broncos this week.