HUMBOLDT — A GoFundMe campaign focused on helping those affected by the fatal collision of the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus has raised more than $1 million 17 hours after it first started.
“I just want to thank everybody. This has been an absolutely overwhelming and humbling experience,” said Sylvie Kellington, the person behind the campaign. “I can’t wait to be able to help this team out.”
Kellington, a Humboldt resident, started the campaign at 8 pm on Friday, April 6, the night of the crash.
“After hearing about the tragedy and feeling absolutely helpless, one of my girlfriends contacted me – her name is Cailin Hergott – and she said, ‘What can we do? I feel the need to do something,’” Kellington said. “I responded to her, ‘What do you mean what can we do? There’s nothing we can do.’ Then I had an idea. I said, ‘Why don’t we start a GoFundMe page?’”
The first goal was $5,000. Kellington keeps increasing the goal each time it’s about to be met.
“I have because I’ve been getting messages saying you have to keep upping it or if you’ve reached your goal, at a certain time GoFundMe takes it down and I thought, ‘ okay, let’s see where this can go.’”
As the amount raised closed in on $1 million, Kellington increased it to $2 million.
Kellington also said she has a son that’s involved in the local bantam team.
As for where the money goes, Kellington said she’s in discussions with Broncos management to have it deposited directly in the team’s account. She said GoFundMe is in direct contact with the Broncos’ vice-president and will confirm the money is going to the right place before they make the transfer.
“I figure they will know best as to what to do with the funds.”
Kevin Garinger, the Broncos’ president, confirmed there was a meeting set up with Kellington. He said the money will go to the team and then to the families.
GoFundMe takes a 2.9 per cent processing fee, plus another 0.030 per cent fee.
There’s also been a few copycat GoFundMe pages looking to take advantage of people’s generosity. They have had smaller total amounts raised compared to Kellington campaign. GoFundMe has been taking them down as they appear.