HEAL­ING IN HUM­BOLDT

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ANDREA HILL [email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/MsAn­dreaHill With files from Kevin Mitchell

Fri­day is Hum­boldt Hockey Day, an event to sup­port the town and its Bron­cos team, dev­as­tated by a bus crash in April. A me­mo­rial re­mains at the accident scene.

HUM­BOLDT, SASK. Toby Boulet held his cell­phone up to the sky and waited.

The four Snow­birds ap­peared sud­denly out of the west, fly­ing over Hum­boldt’s El­gar Petersen Arena and the Bella Vista Inn.

Boulet thought the show was done.

But then the planes reap­peared and split off, two pairs of planes emit­ting smoke to cre­ate two halves of a heart.

“It was very emo­tional. It’s just like a hug from Canada, giv­ing a hug to all the Bron­cos, to me, just a big hug,” Boulet said.

He and his wife, Ber­na­dine Boulet, were in Hum­boldt on Thurs­day to re­ceive the An­gel’s Legacy Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award on be­half of their son, 21-year-old Lo­gan Boulet, who was among the 16 people

Lo­gan was young, he’s fit, he’s strong and his or­gans should go to some­one who didn’t have that.

who died when the Hum­boldt Bron­cos team bus col­lided with a semi trailer on April 6.

The award, which rec­og­nizes work done to raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of or­gan do­na­tion, was pre­sented at the Bella Vista Inn be­fore the people gath­ered in­side left the build­ing to watch the Snow­birds fly over in a trib­ute to ev­ery­one in Hum­boldt.

Each of the four pi­lots who zoomed over the city car­ried the names of the 16 people who had died in the April 6 crash.

Hum­boldt Mayor Rob Muench said the fly­over was yet an­other de­mon­stra­tion of people all over the coun­try show­ing sup­port for the com­mu­nity as it gets back on its feet.

“We cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate it,” he said.

Lo­gan was hon­oured Thurs­day be­cause of a de­ci­sion he made a lit­tle over a year ago, when a men­tor passed away from a cere­bral hem­or­rhage.

Lo­gan sat on his back deck with his fa­ther in Leth­bridge, Alta. and de­clared he would be­come an or­gan donor to hon­our his friend’s mem­ory.

When he turned 21 on March 2, he did ex­actly that.

So when Toby and Ber­na­dine were told Lo­gan would not re­cover from the brain in­jury he sus­tained in the April 6 crash, there was never a ques­tion that his or­gans would be do­nated.

They went to at least six people who needed them.

“Lo­gan was young, he’s fit, he’s strong and his or­gans should go to some­one who didn’t have that and who needed those to be able to have a life that they would be able to con­tinue liv­ing, so it just seemed like it was the right thing to do,” Ber­na­dine said.

A family friend posted on Face­book about Lo­gan’s con­di­tion and the de­ci­sion he had made be­fore the crash. It sparked what has been dubbed the “Lo­gan Boulet Ef­fect” — since April 6 there has been a spike in the num­ber of people reg­is­ter­ing to be or­gan donors.

The An­gel’s Legacy Project, which cre­ated the An­gel’s Legacy Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award, es­ti­mates that nearly 95,000 Cana­di­ans reg­is­tered as or­gan donors fol­low­ing the Bron­cos bus crash.

Terry Switenky, founder of the An­gel’s Legacy Project, said Lo­gan’s de­ci­sion to be­come an or­gan donor was “the big­gest thing that hap­pened in the world.”

“We just want to make sure that the mo­men­tum, the ac­cel­er­a­tion and the re­spect is shown for where it be­longs to a young fel­low like Lo­gan who set an ex­am­ple through the world,” he said.

Toby said his family is “hon­oured” by the recog­ni­tion his son has re­ceived in the last six months.

“The Lo­gan Boulet Ef­fect is amaz­ing and it’s phe­nom­e­nal and it’s noth­ing that we ever dreamt of, even fath­omed hav­ing hap­pened,” he con­tin­ued.

“Ev­ery­one wants to have their child have a legacy and if that’s Lo­gan’s legacy, then that’s what it is.”

LEAH HENNEL

PHO­TOS: LEAH HENNEL

A me­mo­rial for the 16 mem­bers of the Hum­boldt Bron­cos hockey team who were killed in the bus crash still at­tracts crowds .

Bron­cos coach Darcy Hau­gan was among the vic­tims.

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