Car auctions aren’t typically known for their ability to evoke powerful emotion, but a recent auction in Alberta, Canada was a different story entirely, as a few extremely kindhearted bidders raised around $76,000 (or roughly $100,000 CAD) for the children of a couple who died in a motorcycle crash several months ago.
A little bit of tragic backstory. Back on May 5, Brent and Nicole Keryluke were killed when the motorcycle they were riding in collided with a truck. They were only in their mid-30s and left behind two small children, three-year-old Liam and six-year-old Arielle. To help pay for the kids’ medical bills (both have hearing impairments), Ben and Marilyn Keryluke, the children’s grandparents and current caretakers, decided to sell their late son’s 1973 Pontiac Parisienne at Electric Garage Auctions in Red Wood, Alberta.
The car, which Brent had been working on in his garage, was meant to go to Liam on his 18th birthday. And it looks like it still will. That’s all thanks to Rod McWilliams, Danny Fayad, and Bob Bevins, who each placed winning bids on the car, while each time electing to give the car back to the family. You can watch footage of the auction below, but fair warning, it’s a real tearjerker.
“People were overwhelmed with just the generosity of people of central Alberta and the support that this family has,” Lyndsay Payne, a co-owner of EG Auctions, told Global News.
“It was incredible. People were cheering, I was crying. Our auctioneer Rod had a hard time getting through it because he was crying. He was emotional. It was unreal. I’ve never been a part of anything like that before in my life.”
From Bevins’ standpoint, and likely from McWilliams’ and Fayad’s as well, the decision to give the Pontiac back to the Kerylukes was a no-brainer.
“It had way more sentimental value to that family than me owning another classic car, so I thought maybe someday, that young man will be able to drive his father’s car,” Bevins said.
As you can probably imagine, the Keryluke family is blown away by the incredible kindness of everyone involved. A GoFundMe page has also been started in Liam and Arielle’s name, and so far, more than $80,000 has been raised.
“It’s been just incredible to see the generosity of people to help a family to be able to raise the children,” Ben Keryluke said.
“How do you thank people for something so huge?”