There is significance in passing down things from one generation to another. It can be something materialistic like watches and cars, or something more sentimental like letters and photographs. Most families have heirlooms of some sort that are meaningful and special to them.
The family in the following story had a family heirloom that they hoped would be passed down for years to come. But when the parents were involved in a horrible car crash, everything changed.
The Keryluke Family was a happy family who lived together in Red Deer, a city in Alberta, Canada. But on May 5, 2018, their family fell apart when parents Brent and Nicole were killed in a motorcycle accident.
Brent, 35, and Nicole, 24, were spending some quality time together and as they were riding their motorcycle, a truck collided with them, killing them instantly. They left behind their two young children, Liam, 3, and Arielle, 6.
This tragic accident happened three days after Liam’s third birthday and the day before Brent’s thirty-sixth. According to a GoFundMe account set up for the children, Arielle and Liam, who both have severe hearing impairments, were left orphans and extended family members came together to help.
The family worried what the fate of these children would be, but it seemed Arielle was wise beyond her years. After being told of her parents’ death, Arielle held her hand on her heart saying “my parents are right here, with me now and my brother doesn’t understand this right now but I am here to hug him.”
Living With Grandparents
Nicole’s sister and brother-in-law opened up their hearts and home to the two children in transition to living with their grandparents. “It takes a village,” Anita Bakker wrote on the family’s GoFundMe.
“The new normal brings tender, loving moments, full days, exhaustion, deep sadness along with laughter and joy of these children that are reminders of the beautiful parents they shared,” the page said. The children will live with their grandparents most of the time, and Brent’s father Ben told Global News, “When you start out happy in the morning, it helps out a lot.”
1973 Pontiac Parisienne
“They get up in the morning and both of them are smiling and laughing,” Ben said. On the weekend, Ben and his wife Marilyn took a 1973 Pontiac Parisienne their son had been working on, to Electric Garage Auctions to sell.
Electric Garage Auctions
The family didn’t want to part with the vehicle, however, they didn’t really have a choice. Ben explained that due to both of the children’s hearing impairments, additional medical costs could be expected now and in the future.
The special auction for Brent’s classic car lasted about 10 minutes and it was captured on video. The crowd was whistling and clapping throughout the emotional auction, and once they heard the family’s story, they were in tears.
Rod Burnett captured the auction on video and posted it to Facebook writing, “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 … there was not a dry eye in the place.”
The announcer explained to the audience that the grandparents on stage lost their son and daughter-in-law and that they are now the guardians of the two young grandchildren. “The 2 young grandkids who by the way are hearing impaired and have extra costs to go with their growing up,” Burnett added.
Stopping The Auction
“They basically stopped the auction, let everybody know what was happening, where the money was going to go, and we were shocked what happened after that,” Ben told Global News. The car wound up being sold for $29,000 and then was donated back.
After that, it was sold for $30,000 and donated back. Then it went for $20,000 and was donated back again. During the auction, the crowd was whistling and clapping and other people pledged individual donations to add to the total.
“People were overwhelmed with just the generosity of people of central Alberta and the support that this family has,” explained Lyndsay Payne, co-owner of EG Auctions. “It was incredible. People were cheering, I was crying.”
Payne even explained that their auctioneer Rod had a hard time getting through the auction because he was crying. “It was unreal. I’ve never been a part of anything like that before in my life,” Payne said.
The first winning bid was from Rod McWilliams from Red Deer Motors, then Danny Fayad from Edmonton won the second round and Bob Bevins from Bulldog Metals won the third, before giving back to the car to the Keryluke family.
“He didn’t want to be recognized for it,” Payne recalled. “He just went up to Ben personally after the auction and said, ‘You know what? I want your family to have that car so I’m giving it back to you.’”
When the auctioneer Rod announced that, the place went wild. “There was a standing ovation, people were cheering, whistling. It was wonderful,” Payne said. When Brent bought the car, he hoped to pass it on to his children when they were older.
But for Bevins, that made the decision a simple one. “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.”
It was an incredible moment for the Keryluke family, one that they will treasure forever. “It’s been just incredible to see the generosity of people to help a family to be able to raise the children,” Ben said. “How do you thank people for something so huge?” Our only guess is, to pay it forward to someone in the future.