Up to 1,000 vehicles are expected to participate in the second annual Show Your Ride for Brandon Jr. Thomas being held at Jacobs Engineering in Calgary on Aug. 23 and there’s still time to register.

By last Friday, 640 vehicles had registered and more individuals and groups are enrolling every day, says organizer Kim Thomas.

Last year’s first event was a huge success, attracting 178 vehicles and around a thousand people. It’s grown exponentially, with over four times the number of registrants and more sponsors and supporters.

“There is still available space to register your ride and if you don’t have a ride please come out and view some of the beautiful rides that will be attending,” said Thomas.

“We have amazing sponsors who have helped to fund this event, other sponsors who have given freely of their product, and others who have donated to the raffle prizes,” said Thomas.

There are some new features to this year’s event.

A rev off is being held in memory of Brandon and there is also a dyno for those who want to see what numbers their vehicles run. New also is a blue and gold carpet on which riders can have their photographs taken.

Once again there are lots of raffle prizes, a 50/50 draw, trophies and food vendors.

Thomas said they are aiming to raise $20,000 for the Brandon Thomas Scholarship Fund for SAIT’s mechanics department.

Last year, Brandon’s friends decked out his Toyota Frontrunner for the show. It will once again be on display this year and is mechanically sound.

“Brandon’s truck was fixed up the way he wanted it for last year’s event and mechanically this year it’s all ready to go, thanks to an amazing young man who offered to come out and have a look and get it running safely again,” said Thomas.

This event is more than a show and shine. It’s a celebration of Brandon’s passion for life. He was just 17 at the time of his tragic death and was an apprentice auto mechanic who especially enjoyed four-wheeling. Convicted impaired driver Ryan Gibson killed him on Dec. 6, 2012 and the Thomas family has since been pushing for tougher sentences for impaired drivers since.

Signatures continue to be collected for a petition of the Families for Justice petition that continues to call for stiffer sentences for the impaired drivers, especially when it causes bodily harm or death.

“This event is to honor the way Brandon lived his life, and one of his passions in life, the car and truck family that he loved and was excited to be part of, and it raises awareness about the amazing innocent lives lost due to impaired drivers,” said Thomas.

In June, the federal government introduced a bill calling for, among other things, a mandatory six-year minimum sentence for impaired drivers who cause death. The legislation has not yet been brought to the floor and could be impacted by the federal election now underway.

By June, the Families for Justice had collected over 95,000 signatures in support of their stance, many collected by the Thomas’s and many presented to the House of Commons by area MP Blake Richards.

“Through the court system, we learned that Brandon’s life didn’t matter, and the way he died didn’t matter,” said Thomas. Four to six times a day an innocent life is taken and a family realizes their loved ones life has no value in a court of law. Over and over again we see countless deaths due to an impaired driver and over and over again we see little to no sentences being given.”

“This event and everyone attending let us know that Brandon does matter, victims of impaired driving do matter, their life is worth something. The message to not drink and drive does matter and some people are listening. Everyone deserves to get home safe to their families.”

The Thomas family was recently informed Ryan Gibson is seeking full parole at an Aug. 19. The Thomas family and friends will be attending, although they hold out little hope for denial of parole.

Show Your Ride is being held at 205 Quarry Park Blvd S.E. and visitor parking will be at the Remington Corporation and Cardel Homes lots. Pre-registration for entries is $20 and full registration details can be found on the Facebook page Show Your Ride for Brandon 2015.

You can follow the event on twitter as well at

You can also follow us on Instagram at showyourrideforbrandon.

Source: Cochrane Times


Last updated on: 2015-08-28 | Link to this post