March 8, 2019 1:14 pm
Updated: March 8, 2019 6:46 pm

HumboldtStrong allocates $1.9M to Humboldt Broncos bus crash families

WATCH ABOVE: The foundation was set up in the aftermath of the tragedy by community members to steward funds for the benefit of those affected by the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Ryan Kessler reports.

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The HumboldtStrong Community Foundation has allocated $1.9 million to support the families of the victims in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 injured when the team’s bus collided with a semi on April 6, 2018, at a rural intersection in eastern Saskatchewan.

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The foundation was set up in the aftermath of the tragedy by community members to steward funds for the benefit of those affected by the crash.

“Priority one was to be there for any of the 29 families who needed financial help,” said foundation chair Darrin Duell.

“Fulfilling this mandate has been a humbling responsibility for all of us on the foundation’s volunteer board.”

HumboldtStrong said money that went to families includes $1 million for health needs, $250,000 for accommodations, lost wages, transportation and home modifications, $300,000 for scholarships for players on the team at the time, and $350,000 for reimbursement of funeral expenses and other needs.

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“Then we needed to recognize the incredible first responders, many of them volunteers, and others whose support we will never forget,” Duell said.

Among the disbursements were $800,000 to the community of Humboldt and $100,000 each to the home communities of the first responders.

The expectation is for the communities to further disperse the money to those “who assisted after April 6,” Duell said.

The payments represent a commitment to allocate the funds. Some public presentations of the money are expected in the coming weeks, Duell said.

Several families have said they want to participate in the presentations, according to Duell.

“We have asked that all of these gifts be put to use in a way that not only honours all those lost and injured, but also the overwhelming response from the public,” Duell said.

“The 29 souls on that bus have touched the hearts of an entire province and planet.”

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HumboldtStrong said a full accounting of the $4.2 million collected to date and its finances will be released in the coming weeks once an audit is complete.

The foundation said plans for its future are still being determined, but it envisions serving as a living legacy to all those involved in the tragedy.

“We are all, and forever will be, Humboldt Strong.”

-With files from Ryan Kessler

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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