The death of a 9-year-old boy who loved hockey has brought the Iron Range and entire State of Hockey together in support of the child's family, friends and teammates.
The #SticksOutForMarshall initiative has seen hockey sticks placed outside homes all over Minnesota and beyond, a special request from 9-year-old Marshall "Turbo" Bader's teammates and friends.
Bader died Sunday after an accident at his family's farm in Boy River, Minnesota, with the Cass County Sheriff's Office reporting that the child was accidentally pinned under the arms of a skid steer loader during a farming operation.
"Marshall purchased a new stick while cheering on his sister Maisie and their 12u GRG team last weekend," says a Facebook post from the Grand Rapids Area Hockey Association.
"He was excited to put his new stick to work, but unfortunately he never got the opportunity to get back on the rink to use his newest prized possession. His teammates and friends encourage everyone to leave a stick outside your front door and turn a light on in memory of Marshall."
Dozens upon dozens of photos of homes with lights on and sticks out are prominently displayed on the hockey association's Facebook page.
Bader played on a Squirt team and could frequently be found at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids and on outdoor rinks in the area. He's described in his obituary as being "made for the ice" with dreams of playing in the state tournament for the Grand Rapids High School team.
Players, families and community members are encouraged to wear a jersey and attend Friday's game featuring Bader's Squirt team. The game starts at 6:20 p.m. inside the IRA Civic Center.