HUMBOLDT — A facility to honour the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos could include a second ice surface, fitness centre and tribute gallery.
A nationwide campaign to raise money for a Humboldt Broncos Tribute and Memorial Centre was launched on the front steps of the Elgar Petersen Arena on April 5 by representatives of the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Committee and the City of Humboldt.
“If we don’t find a way to inspire others and create something positive for the community, the families and the nation, then that would be a tragedy,” said Christina Haugan, the wife of 2017-18 Broncos coach Darcy Haugan.
The project is in its initial conceptual stages. To be built at the Uniplex site, features to the facility could be added or removed depending on the success of the campaign. The second ice surface could be a smaller rink for minor hockey or a bigger one that could become the main home of the Broncos. The tribute gallery would display some of the items donated after the April 6, 2018 collision.
“Although we are far from the final design, we are looking forward to working with our residents and other stakeholders,” said Councillor Rob Muench.
“We will do the best we can to fulfill our responsibility to pay it forward by telling the story of how in 2018 the world came to a standstill to express the love for the 29 families and for Humboldt.”
Early estimates place the cost of the facility in the $25 million range.
DCG Philanthropic Services of Saskatoon has been hired to help conduct the campaign.
Gregg Sauter, vice-president with DCG, talked a bit about the campaign. He said the tragedy hit the nation hard, especially those that go to the rink with their rinks to play the sport of hockey. He said that Darcy Haugan was building a team that not only played the game, but gave back to the community. He said Humboldt is a positive, can-do, resilient community
“Based on the conversation we've had, there are individuals, organizations and governments who want to show leadership. They want to make a difference, they want to be part of something significant,” he said. “They believe in the values that we've been talking about today and they want to make a positive impact both in Humboldt and across the country.”
The campaign’s website is at broncostributecampaign.com.
Lee Dufort, the Broncos’ president, said the memorial committee can be proud of the work they’ve done to this point and look forward to supporting the campaign.
“Our club continues to be inspired by the team and the coaching staff led by Darcy Haugan,” he said. “We see the development of character and leadership skills each day, which brings our community together and provides a sense of belonging.”
Kurt Leicht, father of Broncos player Jacob Leicht, said the facility will promote the values of Darcy Haugan sought out to build in this team.
“This all-inclusive facility will help and inspire all those who come to it to become the best strongest version of ourselves,” he said. “On behalf of my family, thank you to all those involved with making this idea become a reality.”
Carol Brons, the mother of Broncos athletic therapist Dayna Brons, said Darcy Haugan brought people together with his values, his core covenant for the team and she hopes the tribute center will help many young people fulfill their potential and achieve their aspirations.
“I hope this permanent symbol of this kindness and love will bring hope and healing to everyone affected by April 6, and inspire others to live the core covenant.”