SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WSFA) - Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen’s life and legacy continue to make an impact. The Lutzie 43 Foundation hosted the fourth annual Golf Invitation at FarmLinks at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga in his memory on May 9.
The golf invitational was hosted as a fundraising event and fellowship opportunity by Philip’s father, Mike Lutzenkirchen, and other board members of the Lutzie 43 Foundation.
“It means a lot to me and my family to have both friends and strangers here to support the Lutzie 43 Foundation and Philip’s legacy,” said Mike Lutzenkirchen, who serves as executive director of the foundation. "To see the support and the fellowship that happens at this event is something special. I know Philip was with us today and is proud of the work we are doing.”
Teams competed in an 18-hole scramble-style golf tournament, and each team got to play one hole with celebrity guests, LPGA golfer Emma Talley and former Georgia Tech football head coach Paul Johnson.
Other celebrity guests were at the event to show their support for the Lutzie 43 foundation including Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn athletic director Allen Greene, former Auburn and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson and ESPN College GameDay host Rece Davis.
“It means the world to me to be here,” said Malzahn.
After golf, guests gathered for a dinner presentation where the foundation awarded 11 students with $4,300 Prepared for Life (PFL) Scholarships.
Davis, Johnson and Malzahn participated in a fireside chat and talked about football, traditions and opinions on the upcoming season.
“Phillip was a joy to coach,” Malzahn said. “He’s actually the first player I recruited when I got to Auburn as a coordinator, and he was always so happy and positive. He never had a bad day.”
The event raised over $100,000 in support of the Lutzie 43 Foundation and the foundation’s 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative. The 43 Key Seconds initiative aims to create the first nationally-recognized symbol for distracted and impaired driving awareness and prevention according to the foundation.
“I have a 17-year-old and she’s a pretty safe driver, but all it takes is one second of lack of concentration and awareness of what’s going on for there to be a catastrophe. Phillip’s story is a prime example of that,” Hudson said.
The foundation’s motto for youth is to “Live like Lutz, Love like Lutz, and Learn from Lutz,” reflecting its desire to help others live out the many positive character attributes that Philip displayed while learning from the circumstances that led to his death.
More information can be found about the foundation and its mission at lutzie43.org.