OLDS — Town council is honouring the memory of a youth who died in the Humboldt Broncos collision and his legacy of spurring organ donation by once again declaring April 7 as Green Shirt Day in the community.
Logan Boulet died April 7, 2018 of injuries sustained after a collision the previous day between a bus carrying players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and a semi-trailer about 250 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.
Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured, including Olds resident Graysen Cameron.
After Logan passed away, his parents, Bernadine and Toby of Lethbridge (Toby is a former Olds resident), donated his organs so that six lives could be saved.
Boulet had previously made his intention to donate known to his parents.
Canadians were so touched by Logan's death and his wish that in the weeks that followed his passing, more than 100,000 registered to become organ donors.
That response became known as the Logan Boulet Effect. It continues to this day.
According to the Canadian Transplant Association, almost 90 per cent of Canadians say they support organ donation, but only 23 per cent have actually registered their intent to donate. About 250 Canadians die each year while waiting for an organ transplant.
As council discussed the declaration during its March 22 meeting, it was noted that some of Logan’s relatives, including his grandmother still live in Olds. His grandfather, Roland Boulet, passed away last year.
"It’s hard to believe it’s almost three years ago, that Canada, Saskatchewan, the world basically, found out about the tragedy of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people and injured many more,” said Michael Merritt, the town's chief administrative officer.
“But thankfully, some good did come out of this in the form of a movement and Green Shirt Day. It did have an impact on the Town of Olds and our residents as well.”
Merritt noted that after Roland Boulet passed away, a donation to the new Rotary Athletic Park was made in his name.
Community services director Doug Wagstaff said Olds and Lethbridge councils were among the first in the country to declare Green Shirt Day.
Merritt added that in 2019, Olds and Lethbridge councils also combined on a resolution sent to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association calling for any person’s organs to be available for donation to others after they die unless they specify otherwise.
“I think that’s important, that council showed leadership on that front as well,” Merritt said.