HEALING IN HUMBOLDT
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.”
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.