From the family album: Nicole and Brent Keryluke, with their children Arielle and Liam, inside the Pontiac Parisienne. (Contributed photo).

Emotional classic car auction raises $100K for Alberta kids who lost parents

Red Deer couple was killed in a motorcycle crash last spring

A classic car auction in Red Deer fuelled high emotions last weekend when about $100,000 was raised for two kids who lost their parents in a highway crash.

Brent and Nicole Keryluke were killed May 5 when their motorcycle collided with a truck near Innisfail, Alta. Their two young children, Liam, three, and Arielle, six, are now being cared for by their grandparents, Ben and Marilyn Keryluke, with help from other relatives.

Ben had been semi-retired before he became his grandchildren’s guardian. He now needs to return to full-time work, though he must also spent his days driving the kids to and from school and appointments with specialists in Calgary.

Both kids have hearing impairments and need to wear hearing aids. With the prospect of mounting medical costs, Ben decided to auction off the 1973 Pontiac Parisienne his late son, Brent, had been restoring on the block.

It was a reluctant decision, said Ben, who can still recall the day his son opted to restore a Parisienne instead of a muscle car. “He said he wanted a four-door, so the whole family could ride around in it.”

The Parisienne was auctioned on Saturday. What happened at the sale amazed Lindsay Schwindt, who runs Electric Garage Auctions with her husband. She said she’s never before seen such an outpouring of love from people who didn’t even know the Keryluke family.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” she recalled. “I knew our buyers and sellers would step up to help, but I didn’t expect anything like that.”

The car first sold for $29,000 to Rod McWilliam of Red Deer Motors, who donated it back to the family so more money could be raised.

The Pontiac next sold for $30,000 to Danny Fayad, of Edmonton, who donated it back again.

It was finally sold for a third time to Bob Bevins, of Red Deer’s Bulldog Metals, for $20,000 — and he gave it back to Brent’s kids so they could continue to have this legacy from their dad.

The Schwindts, who also waived their commission and sellers’ fees for the sale, were astounded to see a dozen or so other people at the auction donating cash to the family. “My heart was absolutely full… I still get choked up talking about it,” said Lindsay.

Ben and Marilyn are “way beyond” grateful for all the community support — both at the auction and through an online fundraiser account, which has so far raised $78,000 for the children.

Ben said the money will help him worry less about their future.

As for the Parisienne, “We can’t sell it now!” added the grandfather, with a laugh.

He’s hoping Arielle and Liam will someday take it for a spin.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Ben Keryluke, driving the classic car home from the auction, with his grandchildren in the back seat. (Contributed photo.)

Just Posted

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

National HIV Testing Day comes to the West Shore

17.1 per cent increase in new HIV infections in Canada between 2014 and 2017

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read