The father of one of the players who passed away in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says the families of those killed or injured in the April 6 tragedy have rallied together to help each other pick up the pieces.
Scott Thomas, father of deceased 18-year-old Broncos forward Evan Thomas, said the families are focused on grieving and trying to “find our new normals,” rather than worrying about how the $15 million from the GoFundMe fundraiser is dispersed.
“This is a group of people that’s going to be bonded together forever,” Thomas said.
“I can’t imagine going through this — our family — by ourselves… it’s not a good thing that 16 other people lost their lives but they did, and we’re all going through this together. Every step forward, we’re together. Two steps back, together. Three steps forward, together.
“There’s a lot of comfort in the fact that we’re together in this.”
Broncos president Kevin Garinger said the organization had commenced the legal processes required to distribute funds raised through the GoFundMe campaign, but Thomas said the families fully understand that the process will take time.
“If there’s people that are concerned that this is taking a long time — it’s been six weeks,” said Thomas. “Given the amount of money in play, we are pleased that there are a number of checks and balances in place to ensure the funds are distributed in a transparent and fair way.”
Thomas said the 29 families affected by the tragedy regularly communicate in a WhatsApp group, and that the topic of GoFundMe donation allocations only came up one time.
He also said he was overwhelmed by the support the families had received from across the country, and said most of the families were expected to be present at a planned memorial event Thursday night.
“Through this whole process, we don’t expect anything. Everything we’re given is a gift… none of that’s expected,” he said.
“Whatever happens tonight, I’m sure you’re going to see… a lot of parents with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces at the same time. This is all so humbling and overwhelming.”
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