It was a special night at the Humboldt Bronco game on Saturday, February 24 as the Broncos came together with the community to honour emergency services personnel at the Emergency Responders Appreciation Evening. Emergency personnel were given free admission and the evening held special surprises. 

The Colorado-based Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation was on hand with some very special guests. Former flight nurse Dave Repsher and his wife Amanda took part in the ceremonial centre ice puck drop at the game between the Broncos and the La Ronge Ice Wolves. In the pre-game ceremony, the couple presented two Humboldt Broncos with surprise scholarships. Captain Cage Newans and top scorer Spencer Bell each received a cheque for $3500 from the Dawg Nation Foundation. The Humboldt Broncos’ scholarship fund was also bolstered with a cheque for $8000 from the organization.  

Dawg Nation was established to provide support for hockey families, individuals, and organizations to help through rough times or support ongoing work. The group and its founder, Marty Richardson, have long been friends and supporters of the Broncos and families impacted by the bus tragedy (see accompanying story below).  

One of the recipients of Dawg Nation’s generosity was Repsher, who was severely injured in a helicopter crash and fire that should, by all accounts, have claimed his life. Shortly after Respher’s Flight for Life helicopter lifted off from a pad in Summit, Colorado, it plummeted to earth and burst into a fiery ball, killing the pilot.  

Repsher received burns to over 90 percent of his body and was not expected to survive. The story of Dave Repsher, his indomitable spirit, the unwavering love of his wife, and the enveloping of communities throughout Colorado and the nation are chronicled in the documentary D-Rep: Fight for Life, viewable on YouTube.  

In addition to the celebration on Saturday night, the Repshers, the Colorado contingent and their Bronco hosts attended several tours and events including a visit to the STARS emergency services post in Saskatoon and the Humboldt Broncos crash site. On Sunday morning, the Broncos, board members and staff, and invited guests attended a brunch at the Uniplex with a viewing of the D-Rep documentary and additional cheque awards and presentations. 

Thanks to all involved in this wonderful event.