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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Hockey tournament fundraiser for Humboldt Broncos

by Adam Gault

In the wake of last month’s tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash that claimed the lives of 16 players and support staff of the Saskatchewan-based hockey team, Canadians from coast-to-coast came together with an outpouring of support, expressing unity for all those affected by this terrible incident.

Looking to do their part to add to that incredible display of generosity and support, a hockey playing teenager, with the help of her friend and father, decided to organize a charity hockey tournament fundraiser in support of the Humboldt Broncos.

“I’m a hockey player, and that weekend [of the accident] was provincials, so lots of girls came up on busses, so it really hit home,” Paige Stomp, tournament organizer, said of the impact the tragedy left on her. “I put myself in their shoes, and if my team ever went through that, or anyone around here, it would be awful.”

Her friend and fellow organizer, Nelly Dyck, echoed that sentiment, explaining it was hard not to empathize with the situation that has devastated the small Saskatchewan town.

“How would we feel if our community’s hockey team went through that,” Dyck asked. “Even the fans out there in Saskatchewan, how are they feeling?”

Held over two days, this past weekend at the Essex Centre Sports Complex, the “Hat Tricks for Humboldt Fundraiser Hockey Tournament” featured boys and girls teams for players aged 16-21, the same age as members of the Broncos, for a fun tournament that enlisted the support of a number of volunteers, all more than willing to lend a hand.

“We had a lot of response, a lot of teams saying ‘we want to be part of this,’” Troy Stomp said, who is the father of Paige and was co-organizer of the event. “Getting to 20 teams was tough, we ran out of time, unfortunately, and we ended up with 10, but a lot of people want to be a part of it. Our referees are all volunteers.”

The event also featured raffles and baked goods as part of the fundraiser, with Stomp expecting that the event would be well on its was to reaching their $5000 goal.

“It’s just overwhelming to be part of this, what we’ve done in two weeks is phenomenal,” Stomp said of the outpouring of support the tournament has received at all levels. “Hockey is just a big part of the world to me, it’s a big part. When I heard about the accident, I just couldn’t’ believe it. It really affected Canada.”


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