Alan Simmons asked residents and staff to help, and the money started coming in
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Alan Simmons vividly remembers his days as a colour commentator at Peterborough Petes games for CHEX radio in the 1980s, often travelling between Ontario cities on the Petes’ team bus.
When Alan, a resident at Riverview Manor, heard about the April 6 bus crash in rural Saskatchewan that killed 16 Humboldt Broncos players and staff as the hockey team travelled to a game, he felt a tremendous amount of sadness and camaraderie with those who had been on the Broncos’ team bus, he says.
“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.”
Since the bus crash, there has been an outpour of support for those affected by the incident from people across Canada and around the world. Alan wanted to do something to help, so he started a fundraising campaign at Riverview Manor.
Simply by asking residents and staff members one question – “You got a buck?” – Alan was able to raise $70 that is being given to a local hockey club’s fundraising initiative, with all money raised being sent to the Humboldt Minor Hockey Association, which will then distribute the funds to help those affected by the tragedy.
Alan and Riverview Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Sherry Baldwin also made a small memorial which is adorning the fence outside the entrance of the Peterborough long-term care home.
The memorial is two crossed hockey sticks – one yellow, the other green, the Broncos’ team colours – with the team name on a circle at the centre.
Alan says he had no trouble raising money; in fact, everyone was eager to help.
“If you want anybody to do anything, you just ask them,” Alan says. “All I had to do was explain why (I was raising money) and the money started showing up.”
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