A year after 16 lives were lost in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, the family of Evan Thomas gathered in Saskatoon for a day of hockey to honour Thomas’ memory.

“We've had enough time to grieve hard and we still grieve but today is about remembering the good times and having some fun with these people,” said Frank Thomas, Evan’s grandfather.

Evan’s father, Scott, said the best thing he can do is give back to the City of Saskatoon and the hockey community because of all the support his family received over the last year. He still receives letters in the mail offering condolences for his family’s loss.

“Last week we got a letter from someone in Halifax and so it continues to remind us how people felt, like it was their own,” said Scott.

50 to 60 family members drove into Saskatoon to celebrate Evan Thomas Day. Originally the family wanted to hold one game to honour Evan, but the interest in the day grew quickly.

“A bunch of Jordan’s friends wanted to play so we needed two games and then Evan’s friends wanted to play and clearly there's a lot of different skill levels and age groups,” said Scott.

The Thomas family took over Merlis Belsher Place on Saturday, and ended up hosting three games. Evan’s former AAA team mate Chantz Petruic drove up to Saskatoon from Moose Jaw to take part in the games.

“He's a really good player and we gelled really well, we used to play on the powerplay and we were always together off the ice,” said Petruic.

The family was also aided by Canadian country musician Aaron Pritchett, who flew in from Vancouver for the event.

“It’s a really sad story, but we can help give back to the survivors,” said Pritchett.

The day ended with a silent auction and live auction on hockey memorabilia that will fund four hockey scholarships in Saskatoon, and donations to the Kinsmen Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association.

Based on a report by Francois Biber