Saskatoon

Controversial General Lee replica auctioned for $15,000

The car was auctioned off and driven in the Parkside Demolition Derby on Saturday, with Rob Forbes, of Forbes Bros. Construction, placing the winning bid.

Organizers say 'iconic car' raised $15K for Parkside Community Assoc. plus $22K through donations for CMHA

A Confederate flag, widely associated with racism, was painted on the roof of a car that was set to be auctioned off for charity. The car sold for $15,000 and was driven in the Parkside Demolition Derby on Saturday. (Parkside Demolition Derby/Facebook)

A controversial replica of the Dukes of Hazards' General Lee has been auctioned off for $15,000.

Controversy over the car, which sported a massive Confederate flag on its roof, started after Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe tweeted out a photo of the car last week, supporting the fundraiser, as the vehicle was originally set to be auctioned off in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The tweet from Moe spurred a flurry of complaints as people pointed out the flag, which was used by Confederate forces during the American Civil War, has become widely associated with racism and white supremacy.

Moe has said he doesn't endorse the flag or what it stands for, but he supports the Parkside Community Club's fundraising efforts.

Following the controversy, the Parkside Community Club, which was organizing the fundraiser for the CMHA, put out a call for donations directly to the organization, resulting in $22,000 being raised from private donors. 

"The end result was fabulous," said Kerry Peterson, a spokesman with the Parkside Community Club, noting it was the most money raised from the auction in the event's history. 

The car was auctioned off and driven in the Parkside Demolition Derby, with Rob Forbes, of Forbes Bros. Construction, placing the winning bid.

Between the auction and the direct donations, the vehicle set a new fundraising record for the event. (Submitted by Jeff Ledding)

Funds from the auction will now be used to support a charity or cause selected by the Parkside Community Club. Peterson said exactly where the funds will be allocated has yet to be decided.

Peterson said in total, the "iconic car" raised $37,000 for the two causes, saying he feels the people of Saskatchewan supported the organization when controversy emerged.

"We were talking in our club how everything has to come together for things to be a success," he said. "Everything did come together here and the people of Saskatchewan backed us up when it went a little sideways."

Asked what his message would be to the overall public, he said he wants to relay that the event is a good one and was rooted in helping others.

"I guess my message is let's continue to stand-up together when silliness shows up and just do the right thing and stay the course," he said.

In the Facebook post, the Parkside Community Club thanked Forbes for the donation, saying the club is "extremely grateful."

Last year, the club created a car modelled after Lightning McQueen from the Disney Movie "Cars," with the car raising $6,000 for STARS Air Ambulance. 
 

With files from The Canadian Press

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