Social media users are reaching out to the Saskatchewan town of Humboldt, sharing photos of hockey sticks left on front porches to pay tribute to the 15 lives lost after a bus carrying the Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi truck.
Fourteen others were injured in Friday’s crash — some critically.
The tragedy has captured the world’s attention, and more than $5 million had been raised online for the victims and their families by Monday morning.
The hockey stick tribute gained traction when Winnipeg Jets broadcaster and Humboldt native Brian Munz shared a screenshot of a text message he said he received from a high school friend in the town of 6,000 people.
“Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it … wherever they are,” the screenshot reads, along with a picture of a hockey stick.
The tweet has been shared thousands of times.
Munz invited others to join the tributes on Sunday night, prompting scores of users to post similar photos and messages of support, some using the hashtag #putyourstickout.
Teena Monteleone, a Prince Albert, Sask.-based radio host, was among those who left a hockey stick outside.
“Leaving a stick on the porch tonight in support of the @HumboldtBroncos and in memory of (Adam Herold) — an amazing hockey player and young man we had the honour of billeting,” she tweeted.
The campaign was one way among many that people were commemorating the team.
Others promised to wear hockey jerseys on Thursday to show support for those grieving. That day would have marked the 17th birthday of Herold — the youngest member of the team, and one of the deceased.
The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks honoured the Humboldt team by wearing jerseys with the word BRONCOS across their name plates during their regular-season finale on Saturday night.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks all wore Humboldt Broncos decals on their helmets during games on Saturday night. The latter two teams also wore Broncos-coloured green and yellow lapel ribbons.
Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press