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Family creates hockey stick benches to support Airdrie player paralyzed in Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Click to play video: 'Family creates hockey stick benches to support Airdrie player paralyzed in Humboldt Broncos bus crash' Family creates hockey stick benches to support Airdrie player paralyzed in Humboldt Broncos bus crash
WATCH: Preparations are underway for a benefit for a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. As Gil Tucker shows us, when it comes to volunteers pitching in to put it on, there’s no shortage of bench strength – Apr 18, 2018

“This is good, hey,” Shaun Wagstaff said, pointing to the writing on a blade of a hockey stick. “See how it says, ‘Prayers for Humboldt.’”

Wagstaff was holding one of 150 sticks donated at a vigil held Friday, April 13 in Airdrie to show support for people impacted by the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, especially hometown player Ryan Straschnitzki.

Sixteen people died after the Broncos bus collided with a semi on a highway near Tisdale, Saskatchewan on April 6. The crash left the 18-year-old defenceman paralyzed from the chest down and 13 others injured.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos’ Ryan Straschnitzki describes panicked moments following deadly bus crash

Organizers of the vigil asked people attending to bring sticks for Wagstaff, who’d offered to turn them into two benches to help Straschnitzki and his family.

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One will go to the Straschnitzkis, while the other will be put up for auction at a fundraising event being planned for Airdrie in late May.

Shaun Wagstaff and Laurie Brigan stand with one of two hockey stick benches they’re building to help support Ryan Straschnitzki and his family as he recovers from the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
Shaun Wagstaff and Laurie Brigan stand with one of two hockey stick benches they’re building to help support Ryan Straschnitzki and his family as he recovers from the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Global News

The money will go toward the specialized medical equipment and other items Straschnitzki might need as he recovers.

Wagstaff has been making time to build the benches while running his Peace of Mind Contracting business.

“We’ve been here till midnight the last two nights in a row,” Wagstaff said. “It’s just been nice to come together and do this for everybody.”

READ MORE: Paralyzed from Saskatchewan bus crash, Ryan Straschnitzki plots return to ice

Wagstaff’s been getting help on the project from his family, including his mother-in-law Laurie Brigan.

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“I’ve got two boys that played hockey, and so it really touches home when something like this happens,” Brigan said. “It was just really important to do something to help out.”

Watch from April 10: The parents of 18-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, say despite their son’s paralysis, he is already eager to take up sledge hockey. Blake Lough reports.

Click to play video: 'Humboldt Broncos crash victim wants to get back on the ice after being paralyzed' Humboldt Broncos crash victim wants to get back on the ice after being paralyzed
Humboldt Broncos crash victim wants to get back on the ice after being paralyzed – Apr 10, 2018

Wagstaff agreed, adding that he wanted to “give back to the families that are suffering right now.”

They’re hoping people might see the benches as a symbol of community strength.

“How everybody has come together to help out in a bad situation,” Brigan said. “Everyone has been touched by this.”

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