Weld County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Brownlee died in the line of duty in 2010. Sam’s Dodge Charger was put for auction to fund COPS, Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that helps survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. His two sons Tanner, 19, and Chase, 16, decided to bid on it as they didn’t want to let go of their father’s prized possession.
They set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise $3,440. “I understand there will be a lot of high bidders, but, I am willing to do what it takes to get this car. It meant a lot to my dad and he cared so much for it. I think if anyone should be able to gain such an incredible honor to own such a special vehicle, it would be me or my little brother. I personally, being his son, would want someone I trust to have this car and take care of it. My father’s police car is something he was very much attached to and to someone else it may just be some car. But to me, it was my dad’s. I want to show my father that I’ve grown into a man and take the responsibility to keep his legacy alive. This would be a huge step in doing so. Thank you!”wrote Tanner.
The sum was raised in three days. But when the car, valued at $12,500, went to auction in Greeley, Colorado, on May 13, Tanner did not stand a chance.
It went to Steve Wells, a local rancher who owns thousands of acres of oil-rich land in Wells County, for $60,000. Tanner was distraught.
Then, something unexpected and touching happened.
“Tanner, here’s your car,” Steve turned to Tanner and handed the keys over!
“This is just so huge. I mean, me and my dad built a fence and stuff, but having something I can use and drive around that he drove around, it just means a lot,” an over-the-moon Tanner said adding, “He put time and work into it. He drove it every day, and so to have something like that will be bigger than a lot of things I could have gotten. Realising how much this car meant to him, I understand it now, and I want to keep that and hold onto it.”