Buffalo Sabres fans have donated upwards of $7,000 to the SPCA Serving Erie County in memory of goaltender Linus Ullmark's late father, Jan-Olof Ullmark, who passed away on Jan. 18.
Ullmark thanked fans in an Instagram post earlier this week.
"Thank you to the Sabres fans and members of the Buffalo community who donated to the SPCA in honor of my father," he wrote. "He would be proud of the way you've chosen to honor him, and I am too. I find strength in knowing the support I have behind me in this community, and I am thankful for it."
Ullmark has supported the SPCA through his "Ullmark's Barks" program, in which he teamed up with the organization to sponsor dog adoptions. Several donations have come in increments of $35 as a nod to the goaltender's jersey number.
The page to donate in memory of Ullmark's father can be found here.
"This effort reflects what Buffalo truly is," said Gina Lattuca, chief communications officer for the SPCA Serving Erie County. "A beloved, Buffalo athlete chooses to do what he can to make the lives of our community's animals richer. Then when he loses his father, Buffalo fans, on their own, understanding that pain, take the initiative to begin donating to honor this wonderful man and memorialize another.
"It's compassion, personified over and over. The level of genuine kindness we noted in Linus is an indication of the exceptional man his father must have been. We are profoundly grateful to the fans who chose to express their sympathy through their gifts, and to Linus, for continuing a legacy of love."