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Organizers behind the Humboldt Broncos tribute concert say they’ve raised nearly half a million dollars for families affected by the tragic bus crash.

The Country Thunder Music Festival says the event in Saskatoon last week brought in $588,120.30 from tickets, raffles and other fundraising efforts.

About $428,325.70 will be divided between the 29 families affected by the collision, it said, after covering expenses related to venue staff and production.

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The Humboldt Broncos tribute was billed as a concert to remember the 16 people who died in the April 6 bus crash. The show included performances from country singers Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford, Jess Moskaluke and the Hunter Brothers.

Attendance for the concert reached 9,967 people, according to a statement.

The show drew some controversy over racial jokes made by its American comedy hosts Bruce Williams and Terry Ree. They later apologized for offending some audience members.

The Country Thunder Foundation, which oversaw the money raised for the hockey team, plans to start issuing cheques in the amount of $14,769.85 to each affected family.

Other money raised through a 50-50 draw, T-shirt sales and a jersey auction will go to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, organizers said.

The concert’s fundraising efforts come after a GoFundMe campaign raised nearly $15.2-million for the players and families affected by the crash. The money has been transferred to a new non-profit corporation called the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc. and is expected to be distributed in the coming months.

The father of Humboldt Broncos player Evan Thomas, who died in the April 6 bus crash, says he felt a “love for humanity” at Friday’s tribute concert. Several NHLers came to the Saskatoon show, which featured country stars such as Brett Kissel. The Canadian Press
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