Nearly a year after a 4-year-old boy lost his life, the Clinton Area Rod Club (CARC) continues to raise awareness about child abuse.

Brantley Welford captured the hearts of CARC members and loved going to their car shows and participating in their Hot Wheels competition, according to a recent club release. He attended his last car show the week before his untimely death, just a day before his 5th birthday in August 2021.

The club will hold another fundraising event on Saturday, July 30. It will take place at 10 a.m. at the Ericksen Center, 1401 11th Ave. N, Clinton, near the Emma Young Pond. Those who wish are welcome to join the CARC members at the Wild Rose Casino at 9 a.m., to line up and cruise to the Ericksen Center parking lot.

The club rallied behind Brantley’s memory last fall, hosting a “Bucks for Brantley” event Oct. 2, 2021, which raised $12,415.

A “Bucks for Brantley” fundraiser was held Oct. 2, 2021 outside HyVee in Clinton, in honor of Brantley Welford, who lost his life a day before his 5th birthday.

Those funds helped cover expenses for the Brantley Funeral Memorial, Memorial Park benches placed at Ericksen Center Emma Young Pond in Brantley’s name, and donations to “My Gear Outreach” (an area organization providing backpacks of basic needs for area children going into foster care) in Brantley’s name.

Dylan Diericx of Eldridge pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in the death of 4-year-old Brantley, and sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Last August, Brantley was found unconscious in the back of a semi-truck van in Shipshewana, Indiana. He was then life-flighted to a hospital in Fort Wayne, where he died two days later.

At the next July 30 event, the CARC will celebrate the upgraded Emma Young Pond, acknowledge the efforts of a local Boy Scout, Ethan Middendorp, who raised funds and built a dock for the pond on his own, and dedicate the benches placed near the pond in memory of Brantley.

The Ericksen Center will provide information on the history of the property and its mission, services, programs available to area youth, and the upgrades to the pond; Ethan Middendorp’s accomplishment raising funds and building a boat ramp for the new pond will be celebrated; and a dedication of the new benches in memory of Brantley that now overlook the pond will conclude the event.

All are welcome to join in a cruise up and around Brantley’s gravesite at the St. Irenaeus Calvary Cemetery in the north end of Clinton, near Eagle Point Park.   

Brantley loved the Hot Wheels competition of the Clinton Area Rod Club.

The Clinton Area Rod Club was founded and organized in 1985 as a family-oriented social club, with a focus on preservation of and love for cherished vehicles, operated exclusively for the pleasure, recreation, and exhibition while sharing knowledge and learning from those they meet along the way.

Other events CARC is involved with include:

  • Scott County Emergency Services donating water to volunteers during the 2020 derecho
  • Scott’s Tots annual toy drive
  • Senior’s Gift Care Tree
  • Kiwanis Children’s Care Tree
  • Gateway Area Community Center funding and serving their Thanksgiving Meal
  • Donated Christmas gift bags to 74 youth at the GACC
  • Participation in the annual Mardi Gras/Halloween Parade
  • Offering “Waving” Drive-by car parades for birthdays, sick children, seniors at care centers
  • Music on the Avenue & Local Business Cruise-Ins
  • Supporting area communities by attending their car shows
  • QCCA Winterfest Hot Rods & Bikes Car Show 

For more information, visit the club website HERE.