Humboldt Broncos management to announce plans for over $12M raised

The Humboldt Broncos organization will soon be releasing details on how the $12 million raised through a GoFundMe in support of the team will be spent.

The outpouring of support began 10 days ago after the team bus collided with a semi on the way to Nipawin, Sask., on April 6, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.

Community member Sylvie Kellington started the fundraiser in hopes of covering parking costs for the families who were at the hospital following the crash.

The fund went on to bring in more money than any GoFundMe campaign in Canadian history.

Early on, the team said the money will be allocated to support those who were in the crash and the families of the deceased.

Kevin Garinger, president of the Humboldt Broncos, is set to make a statement Monday at 5 p.m. CST (7 p.m. ET) regarding how the team plans to secure and manage the funds that have been raised. You can watch that announcement live on our website and on Facebook.

Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger speaks at a news conference in Humboldt on April 7, 2018. He will announce plans for fund allocations on Monday. (CBC News)

Although staff from GoFundMe  — the crowdsourcing platform hosting the campaign — have been providing advice and guidance, it’s up to the Humboldt Broncos team management to distribute the donations.

“The monies that has been raised will have a profound and lasting impact on the families of the injured and the deceased,” said the Broncos in a news release on Monday. “The team has been working closely with a number of professional advisers to determine a plan for the funds to ensure [they are] properly managed.”

Law firm assistance

In an update posted on the GoFundMe page on Friday night, the Humboldt Broncos announced the team was getting that assistance from a western Canada law firm.

“Know that we are working around the clock with our advisers to get the funds to our families as quickly as possible,” the post said. “MLT Aikins LLP law firm has graciously agreed to support us pro bono as we bring together the right teams of professionals to help us work through the steps of distributing these funds.

“We appreciate your patience as this process takes time and thoughtful consideration.”

As of the latest update, 10 people from the Humboldt Broncos crash remain in hospital, with two in critical condition, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Little is known about their specific injuries, except that 18-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki is paralyzed from the chest down.
If some suffer severe injuries, including paralysis and brain injuries, financial support could be required to pay for 24-hour care. If someone needs to use a wheelchair, home modifications could be a large expense.

Humboldt Broncos defenceman Ryan Straschnitzki, before and after the crash. He is paralyzed from the chest down. (Tom Straschnitzki via Twitter)

The cost of psychological and emotional recovery for team members and their families could also come out of the fund.

Insurance coverage also on the table

Because the deaths and injuries resulted from a road accident in Saskatchewan, some of the costs will be covered through SGI, the province’s public insurance company.

SGI president Andrew Cartmell said benefits available for people who are injured range from travel and accommodation costs for families visiting their loved ones in hospital to long-term rehabilitation and keeping their standard of living consistent.

No-fault insurance means that funds aren’t tied to the cause of the crash and can be distributed before the investigation is complete.

Saskatchewan insurance also covers funeral costs up to about $10,000, plus additional death benefits, including grief counselling.

​Hockey Canada’s insurance program also covers the Humboldt Broncos players, coaches and staff, spokesperson Lisa Dornan told CBC News in an email.

Dornan said crisis management staff from both Hockey Canada and insurance provider AIG were on-site in Humboldt to help support the families by making funeral arrangements and organizing travel.

Both SGI and Hockey Canada said that money received by survivors and family members from fundraising campaigns would not affect their insurance benefits.Humboldt Broncos news conference about decisions made so far in how the nearly-$12-million raised through a GoFundMe campaign will be distributed. 0:00

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