Sue Simning, mother of the the late Bradley McPherson, stands with her son’s black 1980 GMC Short Box, named “Emma.” (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Murdered Langley man’s memorial car show hits the road as Cannonball Cruise around Fraser Valley

Bradley McPherson is remembered in every $1,000 scholarship given out to a deserving Langley student

  • Jul. 17, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Arranged as an annual meetup of car lovers, family, and friends, the late Bradley McPherson’s memorial car show is hitting the road this summer to keep up with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

What went off last August without a hitch at Aldergrove’s Twilight Drive-In, Burnouts In The Sky, is switching gears in 2020 to an event where participants drive around the Fraser Valley, completing challenges in a bid to beat the clock.

RELATED: Brad McPherson still makes his mark, eight years later

“We felt this is the right thing to do with all that is involved and to protect the ones we love and all of you,” said McPherson’s mother, event organizer Sue Simning.

“The Twilight Drive-In has been unfairly controlled by Fraser Health and continues to be limited to only 50 cars at their venue,” Simning said.

McPherson, a 28-year-old victim of murder in 2011, is remembered most fondly by friends and family for working on cars like his black 1980 GMC Short Box, named “Emma.”  

Russell Bidesi, was sentenced to life in prison in 2018, eight years after McPherson stood up for a woman being harassed at a house party in Newton. 

READ MORE: Life sentence handed to killer of young Langley man

This is the eighth year that his family has paid tribute to his life by hosting an event to raise money to fund scholarships for young adults just like him.

“We do this so we can keep the memory of Bradley alive,” said Simning, at last year’s event, which raised more than $11,369 for the Bradley McPherson Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Already in 2020, the group has doled out post-secondary scholarships to two high schoolers that faced challenges in the classroom, having attention-deficit disorder.

One of them is Walnut Grove Secondary’s Bethany Meszaros, who received $1,000.

“I have fought really hard to do well in school and I hope to become a teacher so that I can support others who have ADHD,” Meszaros told the family in a handwritten card.

Scheduled on the same day as Burnouts In The Sky was to be, Aug. 23 will see the group host the first-ever Bradley McPherson Memorial Cruise/Cannonball Run.

Participating cars, trucks, and motorcycles will line up at Langley’s Colossus multiplex parking lot by 11 a.m.

From there, the vehicles will follow a set-out route within the Fraser Valley and contestants face-off for first place.

RELATED: Murdered man’s memorial car show moves to Aldergrove

The winner will be awarded $500 donated by Titanium Autogroup LTD. Second place is to receive $300 from Canngro Garden Supply, and third place will take home $200.

Registration is free for the event before Aug. 8. Email burnoutsinthesky@gmail.com with a name, vehicle type, and phone number that will be used.

Donations are encouraged.

“This is why we do this [to fundraise for scholarships] and we’re so proud of these kids, Simning said.

Burnouts In The Sky memorial car show will return to its new home in Aldergrove for 2021.

Aldergrove Star

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