Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger is thanking everyone for the overwhelming show of support and love that has been received in the aftermath of the April 6 bus accident that claimed 16 lives and has left 13 others injured with some still in hospital.
In the immediate hours that followed the crash, Humboldt resident Sylvie Kellington set up a GoFundMe page with the intention of raising a few thousand dollars. That campaign became one of the largest in history with over 12 million dollars being donated by people from not only Saskatchewan, but Canada and around the world.
Garinger says moving forward, the Broncos’ board of directors, in tandem with their legal counsel, MLT Aikins, and executives at GoFundMe.com head office, have determined that the campaign will remain open for two more days to allow for any additional online donations and will then be closed and taken offline on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm MST.
The funds donated through the GoFundMe campaign will be transferred to a newly created non-profit corporation known as “Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.” to be allocated for their intended purpose. An advisory committee is being established to make a recommendation for the allocation of these funds, which will be held in trust until that allocation occurs.
Garinger adds the team will continue accepting donations through another new organization that has been created. “The Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, which he said will “support Humboldt Broncos players, employees, families and volunteers, as well as first responders and emergency services personnel, teams, athletes, related organizations and communities affected by the crash.”
Garinger believes the creation of the new foundation will clear up any existing confusion about which memorial items are considered to be sanctioned by the team. From now on, only initiatives that direct their proceeds to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation will be considered officially endorsed by the Broncos as an organization.
“The Broncos cannot and will not be able to verify the legitimacy of any other event, or the dispersal of funds raised by any other such events,” he said.
Concerns have been raised over the past few days about the tremendous amount of unauthorized merchandise that uses the slogan “Humboldt Strong”, the team’s name or its logo without any funds going to the victims or families.