It was something that everyone in Chetwynd, B.C. wanted to contribute to.
Four signed cards sending their condolences to the Broncos and the Humboldt community from the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce.
And Keith and Doris Burns personally delivered them to Darrin Duell when they arrived in Humboldt on May 11 from their north British Columbia community, an over 13-hour trip.
The Chetwynd chamber organized the opportunity for the town, says Keith. Since Doris is originally from North Battleford, they were asked to bring out the cards.
“Saskatchewan doesn’t leave you no matter where you live,” says Doris.
And Saskatchewan has been well represented in their town, says Keith, with many people driving around with Saskatchewan flags on their trucks with a lot of Roughrider fans in that area. Many houses had the green and gold flying in their windows and sticks out for the Broncos after the tragedy.
Teams from Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, and Chetwynd were still in playoffs when the crash occurred, says Doris, with many players refusing to get on their own buses.
Parents had to drive them, she says, some over five hours.
“Counsellors were brought in for some of them,” says Keith.
“A lot of them were ready to just end the season,” adds Doris, but many knew that if they walked away, they would not be playing again. Counsellors were willing to go with them on the bus, she says.
Duell, who is a member of the Broncos board, received the cards from the Burns’ and, while every gesture has been amazing, the Burns’ making the drive to personally deliver the cards is a grand and appreciated gesture.
“It’s been so amazing the level of support we’ve experienced and we’re very appreciative of it and, speaking on behalf of the families, we know they’re very appreciative as well of all the support. They’ve felt that.”
Gestures, like that of the Burns’, has bolstered our strength during this difficult time, says Duell.
“We’re so very grateful of the continued support,” Duell told the pair.
“And it won’t go away,” replied Doris.