Mental health hits home with custom auto business

APPLETON, Wisconsin – Lisa Iverson recently drove her son Conor Iverson’s red Chevy Silverado to Custom Offsets in Appleton.

She may have ridden some of the same roads he ridden three years ago.

“I think he was at Custom Offsets for six months. He loved it,” said Lisa Iverson. “It’s almost like he found family there.”

He also loved his truck and even created an Instagram page Therefore. He shared his passion for modified vehicles with his colleagues.

While it seemed like Conor Iverson had found his calling, he also dealt with anxiety and depression. He took his own life, which affected everyone around him.

(Lisa Iverson)

“October will be three years before he’s gone, which is incredible because every day is like this day,” said Lisa Iverson.

Family and friends were devastated. It also impacted his peers, who began raising funds for the nonprofit Preventing Suicide: Fox Cities.

(Jon Fuller/Spectrum News)

“It’s affecting us deeply as a company as a colleague has been impacted, but also us personally,” said Sam Lowe, director of marketing for Fitment Industries. “Mental health awareness is a big thing and we’re going to work with them on that and promote it in the community as well.”

The group plans a modified car and truck show in the Resch center on 25.6.

“Everyone who registers for the event, a portion of the registration goes to the charity, along with the attendees,” Lowe said.

(Jon Fuller/Spectrum News)

The dealers also donated raffle items. Money from raffle ticket sales also goes to Prevent Suicide: Fox Cities.

While the Midwest is a hotbed for classic car shows, organizers hope to attract a new generation interested in modern cars.

“When I was a kid, I was inspired by ‘Fast & Furious’ and all that stuff,” Lowe said. “That’s exactly what we want to do, to inspire the next generation of car enthusiasts.”

(Jon Fuller/Spectrum News)

Lisa Iverson will be present at the event. She created a journal and condolence cards for others who lost loved ones.

“If you’re going through this, you’re not alone,” she said. “Find your people. You have to find your people or I don’t think you can make it through this grief.”

Conor Iverson’s favorite truck will also be there. Before he died he had a wish list of mods for it. The family was surprised when Custom Offset’s founder made sure construction was complete.

“It was something we couldn’t even imagine. Who does that? Who is spending all that money? It was so phenomenal,” his mother said.

The truck will eventually go to Conor Iverson’s two sons, who will also be cared for in other ways. The company set up trusts for the boys.

“[Founder Shawn Chartier] was adamant. They will have their own house when they are 18. Go to college and get paid for it,” Lisa Iverson said. “Who’s doing this? Really? Who’s doing this? We’re just so honored to have them in our lives. It’s just amazing and we didn’t expect anything from it.”

(Jon Fuller/Spectrum News)

Custom Offsets has a plaque in the break room. It reads: You are not alone.

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