When the news of the Humboldt Broncos bus crashed reached Mike Yager and his wife Shannon, they knew they needed to do something to help.
The April 6 crash killed 16 and injured 13 others, all involved with the Broncos organization.
Yager runs Spotlight Sport and Corporate Wear, a clothing store in Humboldt that sells Broncos merchandise. On the morning of April 7, they began printing T-shirts with “Humboldt Strong” across the chest, with a percentage of sales going toward the team.
Spotlight presented a cheque to the Broncos on Monday.
“When we started this, we thought we’d print a couple hundred shirts and maybe come up with $10,000 as a donation,” Yager said. “Little did anyone know what was going to happen, and how this tragic event had affected hundreds of thousands of people globally.”
Over 12,000 shirts later, Yager and his team raised $304,239.90 to go toward the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation.
For the past three months, Spotlight was inundated with calls, emails and online orders. “Humboldt Strong” shirts were shipped across the United States, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, China, Dubai and Australia.
“I don’t know if we’ve had the time to go through the healing process,” Yager said. “For the past three months, our heads have been down working. We’re still taking orders.”
The shop continues to fill orders for the T-shirts, and according to Yager, Spotlight will produce Bronco merchandise on behalf of the team. There are also discussions about the store creating merchandise for the upcoming season. Yager said he’s also working on a new online store.
A GoFundMe set up immediately following the crash raised over $15 million to go toward the victims’ families and the organization.