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Friday, June 21, 2019

The 3rd Lighthouse for Veterans Car Show - July 6th at The Mart Dock

Three years ago, we get a message about a car show that's trying to get things started.  Ok....tel us a little more.  After all, it's a car show.  There are lots of car shows and lots of cars...how does this one stand out?

As the message pops back up, "Well, this car show is a memorial for my brother...."

You have my full attention....



It was Natasha Heykoop, and she lost her brother to PTSD from his time in the military.  He took his own live on Thanksgiving Day in 2015.  It left a hole in a family and quite honestly, a hole in the community because we lost yet another, who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to the demons in his mind.  The isolation and feelings of being alone and having nowhere to turn made Jeremy Heykoop one of the statistics of the 22 veterans we lose a day to the struggles they face post service. It's still happening and sadly, we'll have to face it until the stigma of proper treatment for mental health is lifted.
Find Lighthouse for Veterans on Facebook

As a remembrance and a way to heal, it was decided that Jeremy's love for cars would be the focal point for the family and friends to bring a little attention as well as hopefully a few bucks to send along to help treat those who suffer PTSD like Jeremy did.  It's the classic story of turning a tragedy into a triumph and finding some healing while offering some respite for others.  They found a little spot, back off Getty and Airline, brought in a brush hog, cleared off the lot and had a small car show.  Then year two came along....the event grew substantially and the mission continued.  Still back by the swampy small field...but instead of a few cars...it more than doubled and the size of the crowd that attended blew up too!  It would seem that the memory of Jeremy and the cause put out by the Heykoops drew some attention.

It's year 3 now.  The Lighthouse for Veterans outgrew the small lot on Getty and will be found Downtown Muskegon at the Mart Dock on July 6th.  Car show, bike show, bounce house for the kids.  A great silent auction going on along with a 50/50 raffle every hour...a live auction at 11a.  Food all day and more.  It's $10 for a car entry and if your fancy yourself as a master of corn hole, you can CLICK HERE to register your team for a small donation.  It all leads up to helping fun a retreat for veterans only in September up in Custer.  A little respite from the world and a chance to decompress and heal.  CLICK HERE for info on the retreat.

Met up with Natasha to talk about the new spot, the 3rd year and how much things have grown and will continue to grow for her passion to remember her brother and help others from having to live through the same. Take a listen.


Love it! To see something inspired by loss turn into hope for others is simply the best way we can tell a story.  It doesn't hurt either to see such incredible growth with such powerful purpose behind it.  This is humanity at it's finest, and honestly....this is what makes Muskegon so incredible.  If you wonder still, after all the years we've published Positively Muskegon what our purpose is...look no further than Natasha Heykoop and Lighthouse for Veterans.  You can visit their website by clicking below.