An Alberta couple forced to sell their late son’s classic car to raise money for their orphaned grandchildren’s medical expenses received a heartwarming surprise when the community bought the vehicle at auction – then gave it back to them.
Ben and Marilyn Keryluke’s son Brent and his wife Nicole were killed in a motorcycle crash just east of Innisfail, Alta., south of Red Deer, on May 5. The young couple’s three-year-old son Liam and six-year-old daughter Arielle have been in the care of their grandparents since the accident.
“You know, we were not expecting to be raising the children so it’s a big added cost for everything,” Ben told CTV Edmonton on Wednesday.
Both Liam and Arielle require expensive hearing aids and Liam needs additional speech therapy.
In order to pay for the new expenses, the Kerylukes made the painful decision to auction off their son’s beloved 1973 Pontiac Parisienne. Brent had hoped to pass on the classic car to his son Liam on his 18th birthday.
“The kids spent a lot of time in the garage with their dad so the car means a lot to the kids,” Ben said. “It’s been part of their life for the last few years.”
On Saturday, the Kerylukes put Brent’s car on the auction block at Electric Garage Auctions.
“When Liam and his grandpa walked into the show office I knew that when I saw that little boy and his grandpa that we were going to do everything we could to help them out,” EG Auctions co-owner Lindsey Payne said.
Just before the bidding began for the Pontiac Parisienne, the auctioneer shared the Kerylukes’ story with the crowd. Moments later, the classic car was sold for $29,000 and then donated back to be sold again. The vehicle was sold and then donated back two more times during the auction – raising nearly $100,000 for the Kerylukes.
“Once the auction started, it was just unbelievable,” Ben recounted.
It wasn’t just the money, either. The family was given something even more special – the car itself.
“It was incredible,” Payne said. “There was not a dry eye in the house.”
In addition to the funds raised during the auction, a GoFundMe page has collected more than $80,000 for the children.
“After this happened, it’s impossible to sell the car now,” Ben said.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Tyson Fedor
This was an incredible moment for all involved, EG AUCTIONS did a very very outstanding thing for a family who just had a terrible tragedy. The small kids on stage just lost their parents 2 months ago in a horrible motorcycle accident, the grandparents on stage lost their son and daughter in law. Now they are the guardians of the 2 young grandkids who by the way are hearing impaired and have extra costs to go with their growing up. The entire customer base and EG AUCTION staff got together and had an emotional 10 mins auction selling this car for the family —- it’s amazing what happens, pls watch the video as there was not a dry eye in the place. At the end of it all we raised approx 100,000 for the family and the 3rd buyer gave the car back to the family!!! Sometime tragedy brings out the best in people, so sorry for the family but so proud of RED DEER and OUR CUSTOMERS from EG AUCTIONS, it will be a never forget moment!!Posted by Rod Burnett on Saturday, September 8, 2018