Flint Firebirds make donations to the Humboldt Broncos tragedy - WNEM TV 5

Flint Firebirds make donations to the Humboldt Broncos tragedy

Posted: Updated:
CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Hockey lovers took in the fourth annual tailgate and Blue vs White game in Flint.

But this year the Firebirds had a special request for those watching.

At the Flint Iceland Arena, Firebird fans gathered together for the team’s fourth annual tailgate party and Blue vs White game.

An event that not only features the team’s newest players, but allows fans to welcome them in.

“When the bus pulls in and they get off, they get to see, you know how much interest there is in hockey here in Flint,” said Costa Papista, president of the Firebirds.

Papista said the event not only helps bring together Flint’s community, but is in benefit of a greater cause, supporting the families of those lost in the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

“We’re asking our fans to make donations today and then our foundation and other sponsors will match those donations so we can make an impact and send a nice donation to the Humboldt Broncos,” Papista said.

For these fans, it’s not just about the excitement inside the rink, but also what they’re hoping to do outside of it as well.

“We’re supporting them, we’re going to donate money today to them. It’s just a sad thing, I couldn’t imagine anything bad like that happening to a team like this,” said Noah and Erik Johnson, both Firebird fans from Lapeer.

“It’s nice to see that the hockey world is coming together for them, pulling funds for those guys is just tragic,” said Jeff Hughes, a Firebird fan from Holly.

But there was also lots of excitement over the new arrivals and these fans are more than ready to see their Firebirds out on the ice.

“They got a lot of young talent and they got all these new people. They got new people to look up to, so I’m excited,” Noah and Erik said.

Immediately following the game, fans had a meet and greet chance with four current players as well as the 2018 First Round Pick Evan Vierling.

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