The GoFundMe page for the victims and families impacted by the tragic crash involving Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos hockey team is quickly becoming one of the largest online fundraising campaigns in the world.
“The fund for the Humboldt Broncos is the largest GoFundMe campaign to date in Canada, and now one of our top five largest campaigns globally,” GoFundMe spokesperson Rachel Hollis told Daily Hive via email.
On the evening of April 6, a bus carrying players and coaching staff from the Saskatchewan Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team was hit by a semi-trailer.
The crash killed 15 people, including the driver. Fourteen others were injured.
Police say there were 29 people onboard the bus, which was en route to Nipawin for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League semifinals playoff game, when the crash took place about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan.
The campaign was started by Humboldt resident Sylvie Kellington to raise funds for those affected by the tragedy.
By Monday morning, more than $4.7 million had been donated by over 69,000 people in just two days. And at the time of publishing, the donations had reached over $6.2 million.
According to Hollis, funds have poured in from over 80,000 donors in 65 countries.
Globally, the largest GoFundMe campaign to date is the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has raised $21.5 million.
The Humboldt Broncos’ GoFundMe campaign has seen donations pour in from high profile individuals and organizations, including a number of NHL teams and players.
The Pittsburgh Penguins donated $20,000, while the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs both donated $10,000.
Former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Dion Phaneuf donated $10,000. Contributions have also come in from a number of current and former NHL players including Drew Doughty, Shawn Horcoff, and Tyler Bozak.
On Sunday evening, a vigil was held for the victims at Elger Petersen Arena in Humboldt, the home of the Broncos junior league hockey team.
Among those in attendance were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, and hockey broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean.
With files from Ainsley Smith