NANAIMO — As Angela Eaves fought back tears watching coverage of the Humboldt Broncos horrific bus crash, the Nanaimo hockey mom wondered "how can I help?"
The next thing she knew, she was headlong into organizing a street hockey tournament for the first time in her life.
"We are a hockey-loving nation, this is what we do. So I think it hit the core and heart of all Canadians when that bus crashed," Eaves said. "A tournament is the perfect way to honour those people who lost their lives chasing a dream."
Eaves' 8 and 12-year-old sons play in the local minor hockey system and her husband grew up in Saskatchewan busing on the same highways and facing off against the Broncos.
One-hundred per cent of the proceeds from the April 22 tournament will be donated to either the current GoFundMe page or other organizations who can quickly get the money to those affected by the crash, which killed 16 and left 13 others injured.
However, with more than $10 million raised by Thursday evening, Eaves said it's about more than raising a few bucks. "More importantly, we come together as a community and we show Humboldt 'We love you, we care for you, we're here for you.'"
She said while it's been a steep learning curve and surprising how much work is involved in organizing a one-day tournament, the community is already stepping up with support.
"We're getting behind Humboldt. This story is our story, those are our boys, this is our game."
The one-day street hockey tournament will be held on April 22 in the old Sears parking lot at Nanaimo North Town Centre. There are a variety of divisions for all ages and co-eds. Entry for a team of five is $50 and games start at 10 a.m. There are also plans in the works to include local junior teams, a bouncy castle, face painting, hot dogs and a raffle.
On Twitter: @domabassi
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