Ben Keryluke and his grandson Liam stand in front of the classic car, which raised about $100,000 at last year’s annual Red Deer Fall Finale Collector Car Auction and Speed Show, on Friday at Westerner Park. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer auction displays car that raised $100,000 for children who lost their parents

The classic car that raised about $100,000 for two children whose parents were killed in a motorcycle crash will be on display at the 12th annual Red Deer Fall Finale Collector Car Auction and Speed Show at Westerner Park this weekend.

Brent and Nicole Keryluke were killed in May 2018, when their motorcycle collided with a truck near Innisfail.

Their two young children, four-year-old Liam and seven-year-old Arielle, are now being cared for by their grandparents, Ben and Marilyn Keryluke, with help from other relatives.

Both kids have hearing impairments and need to wear hearing aids. With the prospect of the cost that comes with raising the children, Ben decided to auction off the 1973 Pontiac Parisienne his late son, Brent, had been restoring at last year’s auction.

The classic car was auctioned and re-donated three times. Many others made donations to the family as well.

A year later, Ben said he’s still awestruck by the generosity of those who donated money, which has all been put into an account for Liam and Arielle.

“We wanted to bring it back to the auction and let people see the car’s still here. It’s being looked after and it’s being saved for Arielle and Liam to drive some day,” said Ben.

The car means a lot to the young children, he added.

“When their father bought this car, it basically looked like it does now, but he rebuilt the motor and transmission. He did a lot of work on it. Arielle and Liam spent a lot of time in the garage with their father, spent a lot of time in the backseat … reading books and playing while he was working on the car,” said Ben.

The family will be attending court Sept. 19, when a verdict is expected to be decided for the person involved in the collision that killed Brent and Nicole.

Ben said the driver of the truck was charged by the RCMP for making an unsafe left-hand turn in the summer of 2018 and pleaded not guilty. Carrying out the court case over such a long period of time has been stressful for the family, said Ben.

“You have to go through the whole thing over and over again. You can’t sleep the days before or after,” he said.

The 1973 Pontiac Parisienne can be seen during the Car Auction and Speed Show, which began Friday and runs until Sunday.

Lindsay Payne, with the auction and show, said the event will feature about 165 cars over the weekend.

“It’s a good time if you’re looking for your dream car. But there’s also something for everyone here all weekend,” said Payne.

“The collector car community is actually a close-knit group of people and they’re passionate about their cars. We have awesome buyers and sellers.”

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