Hoping to spread 'warmth': Reginans gather in honour, and support of Humboldt Broncos
They came in their jerseys and their Humboldt Broncos shirts, with hockey sticks taped to their fenders or Humboldt Strong decals on the windshields of their vehicles.
Organizers had put out the word that Regina's Northgate Mall would be the site of a Drive and Meet in honour of the Humboldt Broncos on Sunday morning, and over the course of the day, streams of people gathered together, shared in grief, and donated to the families affected.
Shayle Benson, 19, explained he and a few others had come up with the idea of the meet and drive to support their friend, whose cousin Xavier Labelle was among those injured in the crash.
The group of friends had held a similar event last year. After Benson's best friend died, they invited people to drive from the Saskatchewan legislature to his family's house to show their support.
"We all went there, had a barbecue, talked, laughed and then read his obituary after that. It put the smile on the mom's face again, so kind of bringing happiness to people," Benson said.
He and the fellow organizers put the word on Facebook, not expecting how many would show up to express their solidarity with the Broncos, or that they would come even half an hour before the event started.
Hayden Pederson, 16, was among those that came to express his condolences. He said he's long been a hockey fan, and has watched teams like the Broncos compete in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
"They were a championship team, and now their team roster is just nothing now," he said, shaking his head.
News of the team bus crash has "devastated" the province, he said, and he wanted the people of Humboldt, and the grieving families, to know that they're not alone.
"I'd want them to feel warmth in themselves, just because there's people actually noticing and caring about this, and raising support for it."