Residents, staff join movement to support Humboldt Broncos

Riverview Manor resident Alan Simmons is seen here outside the Peterborough long-term care home with the memorial he created for the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. Alan also collected $70 recently for a local fundraiser to help those affected by the recent tragedy that claimed the lives of 16 Broncos players and staff.

One Riverview resident launched his own fundraising initiative, while Burnbrae Gardens joined the nationwide #JerseysforHumboldt campaign

In the wake of the April 6 bus crash in rural Saskatchewan that claimed the lives of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and staff, there has been an outpour of support from across Canada and around the world for those affected by the tragedy, and OMNI Health Care’s communities have been among those getting behind the cause.

Riverview Manor resident Alan Simmons recently raised $70 for a local hockey club’s fundraising initiative. All money raised has been sent to the Humboldt Minor Hockey Association, which will then distribute the funds to help those affected by the tragedy.

Burnbrae Gardens staff and residents are pictured here on April 12 wearing hockey jerseys in support of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.

For Alan, a personal connection to hockey inspired him to start a fundraiser. In the 1980s, he was a colour commentator at Peterborough Petes games for CHEX radio. He often travelled between Ontario cities on the Petes’ team bus. He says he felt a tremendous amount of sadness and camaraderie with those who had been on the Broncos’ team bus.

“It hurts,” Alan says of the tragedy. “We used to go town to town on the bus, and I have a lot of memories of that. Memories of going to the games and realizing that they were kids; they were just kids, and all they wanted to do is play hockey. That’s all they wanted to do. And they’ve now been denied that.”

Simply by asking residents and staff members one question – “You got a buck?” – Alan was able to raise $70 for the cause.

Residents and staff members at Burnbrae Gardens showed their support for the Humboldt Broncos on April 12 when they joined the nationwide #JerseysforHumboldt campaign.

What started as an idea on social media to encourage Canadians to wear hockey jerseys to work or school that day quickly caught on across the country, and the folks at Burnbrae Gardens wanted to show their support for the Broncos and the town of Humboldt, Sask., notes Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux.

The interesting thing is that it was not something the Campbellford long-term care home’s staff planned – the idea for everyone to wear hockey jerseys that day in support of the Broncos team happened organically, April says.

April had heard about the campaign, so on the morning of April 12 she went to work with her hockey jersey in her bag. When she arrived at Burnbrae Gardens, she noticed several other staff members wearing hockey jerseys.

“The staff members all took it upon themselves to do that,” April says. “When I saw everyone with their jerseys on, I thought, ‘oh, wow.’ ”

April Bishop, a nurse at Burnbrae Gardens, even brought a large bag full of hockey jerseys her mother had given her to hand out to any residents and staff members who didn’t have a jersey but wanted to wear one that day.

“I’m very thankful to April Bishop that she had those jerseys lying around, and that really helped make it a bigger event, and we were able to include the residents as well which was pretty neat,” April says.