Minnesota continues massive show of support after death of 9-year-old hockey player

Marshall Bader died in an accident at his family's farm.
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Marshall Bader

With the #SticksOutForMarshall campaign generating support all around the State of Hockey, the family of the 9-year-old boy who died in a farming accident on Sunday is now receiving financial support from numerous fundraisers. 

Marshall Bader died Sunday evening when he was pinned by the arms of a skid steer at his family's farm in Boy River, Minnesota. Nicknamed "Turbo," Bader had a passion for hockey and played for a youth team in Grand Rapids with hopes of someday playing in the state tournament with the Grand Rapids High School team. 

Minnesota hockey homes have been decorated with sticks placed outside under illuminated lights to support the Bader family, while a GoFundMe campaign for Bader's family – his mother, father and two sisters – has so far generated more than $6,000. The campaign says: 

"On Sunday, January 19, 2020, the world lost a sweet soul whose smile & spark touched everyone he met. Marshall Bader tragically & unexpectedly passed away at the tender age of 9. He was a third-grade student at Murphy Elementary School in Grand Rapids, MN & a member of the Grand Rapids Youth Hockey Association. Marshall loved the sport of hockey & could not wait to be a Thunderhawk & play in the state tournament someday with his friends. Marshall was also an expert in farming, often teaching his buddies how to herd & feed cattle – even how cows were born!

"To know Marsh was to love him. This page was created to support the Bader family during this unexpected & incredibly difficult time & to create a memorial fund to support what Marshall loved most while allowing his name to live on for years to come. Locally, information is listed below for donations via check. For those that prefer an electronic platform, the family has given permission for this site to be created. Marshall’s family is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support near & far as they navigate their way forward without their beloved #5."

In addition, in lieu of paying for tickets to a high school hockey game between Iron Range rivals Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia on Thursday night, donations buckets were placed around the arena in Eveleth, with all money collected going to the Baders. 

A moment of silence was held for Bader prior to the start of Thursday night's varsity game between Grand Rapids and Moorhead, and the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids is expected to be filled with jersey-wearing fans during Friday's 6:20 a.m. game featuring the Squirt team Bader played for. 

"Please consider attending the Squirt A game in honor of Marshall Bader. This will be an emotional night for these young players and they could use additional fan support," Grand Rapids High School Hockey said in a Facebook post

While the Squirts honor Bader, so shall the University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey team. The Bulldogs will wear helmet decals with Bader's No. 5 on it and the phrase "Later Bader." 

Eagan Hockey Association will do the same on their helmets. Tragically, Eagan's hockey program is only three months removed from an incident that saw 13-year-old Patric Vitek fatally struck by a vehicle as he biked to school. Eagan Hockey Association said: 

"Our hearts are heavy in Eagan for the loss of your #5 Marshall Bader. We also tragically lost our #5 Patric Vitek only 12 weeks ago and understand the pain your hockey community is feeling and how much the love and support means to you as well. We will honor Marshall by adding his #5 Later Bader sticker alongside Patric’s on every Eagan player’s helmet and by adding orange tape to our sticks. Our sticks are still out for Patric and now for Marshall too. We are so sorry for your loss."

Donations for the Bader family can also be hand-delivered to Deerwood Bank, located at 2950 South U.S. Hwy. 169 in Grand Rapids. Checks should be made payable to Marshall Bader Memorial Fund.

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