GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The family of a married couple who passed away in a plane crash just four days after they were married in October 2020 have started a nonprofit organization in their honor. They have a golf outing planned for this Saturday where they will raise money to help other families dealing with grief.
Lindsey Vogelaar and her husband, Costas Sivyllis, were known to their friends as bright souls with a passion for traveling the world. The pair met while working for an airline — Costas as a pilot, and Lindsey as a flight attendant.
They even ended up purchasing their own Beachcraft Bonanza airplane that they named 'Baby Blue.' The couple had flown out in their plane to be married in a small private ceremony in the wilderness of Telluride, Colorado, last October.
Just four days after they said their vows, their plane went down east of Telluride as they were heading home. Their families were left devastated by the loss.
“Their story touched so many lives... They were amazing people,” Lindsey's sister Courtney told FOX 17 during an interview at her house Friday morning.
In recent months Courtney has begun the process of channeling the immense sense of loss into helping other families struggling with trauma.
“Ever since that happened in October, literally multiple times a day I was thinking, 'What is my purpose now?' Like, 'What am I going to do from here? Why did this happen to us?'" she explained.
Bouncing between ideas on how best to honor her sister and brother-in-law, she decided to launch a nonprofit in their name, and to use it to share the couple's zest for life and travel with others who could benefit from it.
“Obviously, with him being a pilot, and her being a flight attendant, they loved traveling; like, that was their life,” Courtney said.
“I was like, 'What if I sent a family on a vacation that also lost a loved one, and maybe it would help a little bit with their healing... maybe it will help a lot with their healing.'”
She has organized the First Annual Lindsey & Costas Memorial Golf Outing happening this Saturday at the Saskatoon Golf Club in Alto to raise money that she will use to donate a vacation to one deserving family.
If you know a family struggling with grief that could use such a trip, you are asked to reach out to Courtney via the nonprofit's website HERE.
If you would prefer to send a written letter, you can send those to the following mailing address:
Lindsey Vogelaar and Costas Sivyllis Memorial Fund
3527 Hickory Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508