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

Mold shuts down construction at QC supportive housing project

Construction of the new 19-unit modular housing complex in Queen Charlotte has… Continue reading

Conservation office launches new gaurdian role for Haida Gwaii

Possition developed in part to improve partnerships with Haida Nation

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

All Native Basketball Tournament: Intermediate Finals

All Native Basketball Tournament: Intermediate Finals

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read