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

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

Coach promises tonight’s Posse match will be the game of the year

Princeton Posse coach Mark McNaughton wants to see a full house tonight… Continue reading

Piles of debris hauled from Summerland rock slide site

Material removed from site would more than fill an Olympic swimming pool

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Peachland researchers warn public to be on alert for dead bats

White Nose Syndrome, a deadly bat disease, has been found south of B.C.

Most Read