Clinton Area Rod Club holding fundraiser Saturday in honor of 4-year-old abuse victim

Local News
A “Bucks for Brantley” fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 2 outside HyVee in Clinton, in honor of Brantley Welford, who lost his life a day before his 5th birthday.

The Clinton Area Rod Club is hosting a fundraising event to increase child abuse awareness in honor of Brantley Welford, an avid 4-year-old car show attendee, who lost his life on August 22, 2021.

Brantley’s last great, fun event was a car show hosted by The Clinton Area Rod Club on Aug. 15, so it seemed only fitting that this event be held at the same location to honor and remember Brantley and all those who have been taken from this earth before their time, according to a Thursday release from the club.

If you have a classic car/hot rod or motorcycle and you’d like to be part of the “Bucks For Brantley” cruise, be at Wild Rose Casino by 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, where they will start to line up around 12:30 and head out around 12:45 toward HyVee Clinton. The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the HyVee grass lot, 901 S. 4th St., in Clinton.

Those wishing to participate don’t need a car or motorcycle to show support and help raise funds in memory of Brantley Welford. This cause has brought the entire community together and the Bucks for Brantley Cruise-in will include raffles for a 65-inch TV, Custom Built Bar, Super Cool Rat Rod Wagon as well as Basket Raffles, Basket Auctions, and 50/50 Raffle. Music will be provided by David Mills and HyVee will be serving food and donating the profit to the cause.

Monetary donations and/or unwrapped toys to Scotts Toys for Tots in Brantley’s name will also be accepted. Proceeds will help cover expenses, memorial costs, headstone, a memorial bench in Brantley’s name with the remaining to be donated to one or more local child abuse/awareness organizations and other extraordinary, related expenses.

The Clinton Area Rod Club was started in 1985 by a handful of friends who had a love for working on and driving hot rods. The club “members take great pride in our community and love to support local businesses and organizations,” its release says. “We enjoy doing cruise-ins for local Retirement Homes, showing our cars at Clintons downtown events, gathering for monthly cruise-ins at different local businesses and attending car shows.

The Clinton Area Rod Club, formed in 1985, is very active in supporting many businesses, organizations and the needy in the local community.

Proceeds from the annual “Fun In The Sun Car Show” go back into the community. Each year, the Clinton Area Rod Club helps to buy Thanksgiving dinners for the needy, donate to the local Holiday Network, purchase gifts for the caring tree, angel tree and the senior citizen trees at local retirement homes.

An Eldridge, Iowa man who faced a felony charge in connection with the death of Brantley was released Sept. 13 on bond from LaGrange County Jail in Indiana.

On Aug. 24, the LaGrange County Prosecutor’s Office filed criminal charges against Dylan Diericx, who faces a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony, court records say. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Nov. 15.

Dylan Andrew Diericx (Contributed photo)

Our sister station WANE reported that on Aug. 19, Shipshewana Police were called to 345 Van Buren St. for an unresponsive boy in critical condition. The boy — Brantley, formerly of Clinton — was taken by helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital, where he later died one day before his 5th birthday.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, the Eldridge boy was the son of Diericx’s girlfriend. Diericx said they were engaged in “horse-play” in the cab of a semi when the child was injured.

Diericx told investigators he had tossed the boy on the bunk in the sleeper of his semi, and the child hit his head on a “fixed object,” the affidavit said. The boy then began convulsing and became unconscious, Diericx said, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says the boy’s injuries were not consistent with that explanation. The child suffered “fractures to his clavicle and shoulder blade, bruises and abrasions on the right and left side of his face, bruises on his forehead, laceration and blunt force trauma to the back of the head, bruises to genitalia, injury and bleeding from the victim’s anus, cuts to his arm, a busted lip and burns around his mouth and on various parts of his body,” the affidavit said.

The arrest affidavit says Diericx “failed to secure proper medical attention” for the boy after the child had been exposed to “three or more incidents where the child received serious injuries, which resulted in the child being airlifted to Parkview North in Fort Wayne, IN, and ultimately resulted in the child’s death.”

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