Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Humboldt Strong epitomized by local Humboldt business

Humboldt’s Spotlight Sport and Corporate Wear owners Mike and Shannon Yager, their staff, family and some amazing volunteers epitomize what it is to be Humboldt Strong.

Within hours of the crash, they began producing Humboldt Strong t-shirts as a fundraiser for the affected families; with a goal to raise $10,000.  Media coverage of their efforts generated an overwhelming demand for the t-shirts from around the world. They worked tirelessly and delivered more than 12,000 in the month of April alone.  To date they have been shipped the t-shirts to every province and territory in Canada, every state in the US, and to countries around the world including: China, Japan, Germany, Dubai, Australia, Phillipines, England, Finland, Switzerland, Ireland, and many more.

On July 23th, Spotlight Sport and Corporate Wear Ltd of Humboldt Saskatchewan presented a cheque to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation for $304,239. They plan to continue to produce and sell Humboldt Strong merchandise with a portion of the proceeds going to the Humboldt Broncos Community Strong Foundation.

A huge thanks to Mike, Shannon, their staff, family and volunteers for their tremendous efforts over the past few months!  You all are truly #humboldtstrong!

Below is a statement from Mike Yager, President of Spotlight Sport and Corporate Wear

After a sleepless night, no different than many thousands of people refreshing media websites, Twitter, Facebook and other social media, I paced the house as Shannon and I discussed what we could do to help the families of the accident.  Upon many discussions, we decided to use our industry and what we do every day…we decided to design & sell Commemorative ‘We Are Humboldt Strong’ T-shirts as a Fundraiser for the Bronco Families affected by the accident.  So, we head in to work and set up our design for the shirts.  Before noon, a mere 18 hours after the accident we set up our online store and launched our fundraiser through Facebook – $20 from every $25 full color imprinted shirt would be donated.  We then planned to go home for the day.  We were so wrong.  We were instantly flooded with phone calls, e-mails, Facebook messages, as well as people walking in.  We stayed and printed until we ran out of Yellow Ink by 6:30 pm, then sat down to start the enormous task of reviewing the thousands of messages that continued to come in.  We worked on responding to e-mails until 4:30 am (while Rocky drove to Edmonton for ink).  Shannon and I each shed so many tears as we read the hundreds of touching e-mails.

By 8:30 Sunday morning we were up and running, printing like mad to satisfy the hundreds of local requests for shirts for the Vigil. We called in Vanessa to help out, suggesting we will print ‘a couple hundred shirts’.  We worked tirelessly for days on end, fulfilling orders from around the globe.  Shannon and I worked 36 days straight at an average of 14 hours per day before we took a day away – Mother’s Day. Several days we worked as many as 18 and 20 hours.  We put our regular business On Hold for approx 6 weeks until we could find a way to balance both.  We have received messages from people around the world, each with their own story of how they were touched or affected by this tragic accident, as well as stories of how our Humboldt Strong shirts and hoodies have helped them with a sense of Belonging, Honour, and Financial Support to the Humboldt Broncos Organization and the Families affected.  We are honoured to present this cheque to the HumboldtStrong Community Foundation and the Humboldt Broncos, on behalf of the thousands of people who supported our Fundraising efforts.  However, before we do that, I have some specific Thank You’s to make:

Our volunteers were the best! My sister Linda devoted so many days since April 9th (8 weeks of time Donated), as well as Andrea (who Donated her time to take over our printing for 4 weeks), not to forget Wayne & Grace who made so many deliveries outside of Humboldt for us. Many family, friends and strangers came to help in our need, and we are very grateful for the sense of Community that it created.

We experienced so much Corporate Support as well.  Companies such as Purolator (who stepped in to handle all our shipping), BHP Billiton (who provided dozens of volunteers), KCS Marketing (for providing some printing services), our industry suppliers (Alphabroder, SanMar, RB Digital, Order My Gear) who provided supplies, Humboldt Sobeys, Terry’s No Frills, BV Inn, Humboldt Tim Hortons, Boston Pizza, Office Experts, WestJet and UPS all made huge contributions as well, through food, supplies or volunteers.

Our Staff – Shannon stayed with me all the way (sometimes shaking her head at me – lol), Vanessa also worked so many unpaid Overtime hours, Tonia came from Warman several days to help out, and Lisa came in from Saskatoon as well.

All in all, we are very grateful for each person, who contributed to our Fund-raiser, as well as shared their stories (and photos) with us. So many kind words, and words of encouragement, as we worked tirelessly through approx 5,000 orders and over 12,000 T-shirts in April alone. We have experienced so much love and support, offers of assistance and food, as well as so many visits from across our Great Nation.  We have sent shirts to every province and territory in Canada, every state in the US, countries such as China, Japan, Germany, Dubai, Australia, Phillipines, England, Finland, Switzerland, Ireland, etc.  We have had visitors to our small business of 2.5 employees from across Canada, as well as USA, China, Russia, and Ethiopa.  We are amazed yet humbled by the global showing of support of the Broncos Family as well as the support of our company, as people strive to purchase commemorative ‘We Are Humboldt Strong’ apparel ‘right from the source’.

We will continue to produce the Humboldt Strong merchandise and other Humboldt Broncos merchandise with a portion of proceeds going to the Humboldt Broncos organization.  The funds this cheque represents will not bring back those lost or injured on April 6th, however we believe it may help as another step in the healing process for all the families affected.

Our minds and bodies are exhausted. Our bodies may be drained…. however, Our Hearts are Full.

Mike Yager, President