Sylvan Lakers are a generous bunch, as demonstrated through an impromptu fundraiser for the Humboldt Broncos.
After the tragic accident earlier in April, Al Libby purchased a shirt from Accu Publishing in Ponoka.
He proudly wore his Humboldt Broncos shirt to work, and the requests came pouring in.
“It wasn’t something I had set out to do, I was doing something small from my family,” explained Libby.
“When people saw the shirt they asked to order one. Some would slap $20 or more on the counter without care and tell me how many shirts they wanted.”
Libby started taking orders for Humboldt Broncos shirt less than a week after the tragedy. Many of the order requests came from his co-workers, others from customers he served.
Libby says he wrote out the orders on waitress’s notebook to try and keep track of everything before making up a spread sheet.
Before he knew what had happened, more than 40 requests were made. To date Libby has ordered 70 t-shirts from Accu Publishing.
Along with the t-shirts, which sell for $10 each, many staff members and members of the public donated additional money to the cause.
In total, Libby says the spontaneous fundraiser has raised more than $1,000.
“It says a lot about this town and the people who live here,” said Libby, adding he didn’t start out trying to raise money for the team.
“We are a hockey town, and this accident, this tragedy has affected us greatly.”
Accu Publishing have printed more than 700 t-shirts with the Humboldt Broncos logo on it to customers in Central Alberta. At $10 a pop, the company has more than $7,000 off of the shirts alone.
The money raised wasn’t donated to the Go Fund Me page, which closed last week at about $15 million raised. Instead, the money will be donated directly to the team.
Libby says that is an important distinction. While the families are hurting to is the team.
“They are going to need to replace equipment and things like pads, and all of the is expensive,” said Libby, who mentioned his kids also play hockey in Sylvan Lake.
Libby is impressed and astonished by the response he has gotten from simply wearing a shirt, but says he is proud of his coworkers and customers for banning together without being asked.
“This is a tragedy that is Canada-wide, it hits home for many of us.”