Celebration of life for Humboldt Broncos player Logan Boulet held Saturday
The memorial began at 1 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge, with over 2,000 in attendance.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team was travelling to a game in Nipawin, Sask. last Friday, when its bus collided with a semi-truck at a rural intersection near Tisdale.
Rushed to hospital following the crash, Boulet was taken off life support overnight last Saturday, and his organs were donated to six people in need.
His family says the 21-year-old had just recently signed his donor card, something he’d wanted to do as soon as he became eligible after his birthday in March.
Bruce Bell coached Logan in the past and is a family friend of the Boulets. He said he coached Logan all the way up to the Bantam level.
“He was very well liked in the dressing room,” Bell told Global News ahead of Saturday’s ceremony. “As he got mature and older, [the] quiet confidence he had on and off the ice reflected in his personality.
“He always had a smile, regardless of the situation, on the ice or wiping out on his bike when my son and him would go for bike rides — or making a fort — he’d always have that smile.”
Logan’s choice to become an organ donor has inspired people across the country, with thousands of Canadians choosing to make the same decision.
“I’ve had people directly affected by organ donation,” said Humboldt City Councillor Michael Behiel who was in attendance on Saturday. “I just could not believe that at a time so tragic, they would take the time to consider something like that. And it meant the most for me, I needed to come pay my respects.”
“It’s typical Logan,” said Bell. “Doing things quietly. [I’m] pretty sure when he signed his driver’s licence he didn’t expect any of this to happen, but you know, that’s just the way he went about his business.”
The days following Boulet’s death were marked by a surge of Canadians signing up to become organ donors.
“It’s called the Logan Boulet effect…we just found that out as we came home,” said Logan’s father, Toby Boulet, during an interview on Tuesday.
“And to have it called the Logan Boulet effect on the increase of people registering for donor, organ donor, transplant donors..it makes your heart warm.
“But we didn’t want Logan to be the Logan Boulet effect…we have to remember that we didn’t want this to happen.” Boulet said.
Support for the Boulet family could be seen right on their street, with hockey sticks and Humboldt Broncos ribbons taped to posts and trees.
On Saturday, family and friends shared stories about Logan, describing him as somone full of light with a witty sense of humour, an intelligent learner, a feisty competitor on the ice, a fierce yet empathetic friend, and someone who would bring people together.
“We would like to thank our family, friends, community and all others for the incredible support that you have provided to our family in our darkest hours. We are #HumboldtStrong with other families affected by this tragedy,” Logan’s godfather Neil Langevin read, from a statement given by the Boulet family.
“Logan was the light of our life and continues to be a beacon that will guide many others. His selfless and empathetic self will live on in the thoughts and actions of so many he has influenced.
“In the coming days we will continue to mourn and grieve, but know that Logan is still in your hearts and thoughts. We know that the sun will come up tomorrow and wish all others our love and support.”
Boulet’s memorial is one of many that will be taking place across western Canada in the coming days as family, friends and communities look for closure following the bus crash tragedy.
Memorial donations in Logan Boulet’s name can be made to Lethbridge and Taber Kidsport.
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