Colorado – The Brownlee family doesn’t have much to remember their dad by, besides photographs and memories of their time together.
Tanner Brownlee was 15 when his dad, Weld County Sheriff’s deputy Sam Brownlee, died in the line of duty on a fateful day in 2010.
Earlier this week, nearly five years later, Tanner and his brother, Chase, hoped to get something very special from the Weld County Sheriffs Office, their Dad’s Dodge Charger.
As KMGH/Denver reports:
“The Weld County Sheriff’s Office auctioned off their dad’s Dodge Charger on Wednesday night. The vehicle, with 147,000 miles, was being sold to raise money for C.O.P.S. — Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that provides services for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.”
When Tanner heard the news, he started a GoFund Me page to raise money to bid on the squad car. The car’s Kelly Blue Book value of $12,500 was well beyond the $3,000 he had raised, but Tanner had a plan.
“I think I’m just going to look around, see what everyone else is doing and try to copy them,” said Tanner. “Just up them by one.”
When the auction started, Tanner entered first bid – $2,500. To Tanner’s disappointment, the bids were soon far beyond his limit, and as the bids reached $50,000, his limit had come and gone – seemingly just like his dad’s car.
Eventually, the car was sold for a whopping $60,000 to Mr. Steve Wells, a local rancher. After being thanked by the auctioneer, Wells shook Tanner’s hand and subsequently went to claim his prize.
Once Wells had the keys, he turned to tanner. “Tanner, here’s your car,” he said.
7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger spoke to Tanner shortly after. “You had no idea that guy in the back was bidding and was going to hand you the keys?”, The reporter asked.
“Nope. I shook his hand and I didn’t know,” said Tanner. “It means so much to me.”