Monday, June 02, 2008

A fitting tribute

Fans rally around No. 28 with donations to Canuck Place
Jason Botchford , The Province
Published: Sunday, June 01, 2008

It started as a simple and clever idea to pay tribute to Luc Bourdon on a Canucks Internet message board.

It has since exploded.

Hours after it was learned Bourdon had tragically died Thursday, message board contributor "RypienItUp" posted the idea that people should think about giving a donation of $28 (Bourdon's number) to Canuck Place Children's Hospice (, which specializes in palliative care for children living with life-threatening illness.

"If you can afford to, please do the same," RypienItUp wrote. "We're a fanbase that is as divided as any, but hopefully we can come together in this difficult time to make a positive difference on a day that started so tragically."

Come together, they have.

"We started getting more and more and more donations," said Caroline Nybo, a Canuck Place spokesperson. "They started coming in from all around the world. There were donations coming in from Great Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, New York, Seattle and all over the place. It was incredible.

"They have all been in some sort of tribute to Luc. Some are $28, $280 and even $28.04 because four was his old number. People find their own way of picking a number.

"It just caught on."

Nybo said at Friday's end, about 28 hours after RypienItUp first posted the idea, 195 people had given donations totalling more than $7,000. All of the donations had some variation on the number 28.

Many people who know Bourdon said it would be hard to come up with a more fitting tribute for a player who cared a lot about helping the less fortunate.

"I was very fortunate to witness the things that he did, to see how he gave back to kids," said Debbie Butt, the Canucks director of community partnerships. "You see the quality of the person in the way they treat people away from the ice.

"We have a fundraising event every year where we work with the Special Olympics. He had a young woman with Down Syndrome who he was partnered with and he held her hand the whole night. He didn't care what anyone thought. He walked her everywhere, and even went around table to table and introduced her to his teammates.

"I just thought what a fine human being he is."

Glad to see that people took up the idea so quickly - hopefully this will become an annual tradition.

I wonder if that 'Great Britain' is just me? Not many other Brits on CDC - although maybe there are lurkers. I hope so.

I hope this gives some comfort to Luc's family that there was love for their son worldwide, and also that some small amount of good is coming out of this terrible loss.

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