SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Philip Lutzenkirchen is a name forever in Auburn football lore. As a star tight end for the Tigers, Lutzenkirchen was a part of the one of the most glorious seasons in Auburn history.
In the 2010 Iron Bowl against Alabama, Lutzie, as they called him, made the game winning touchdown catch in Tuscaloosa. Auburn went on to win the national title that season, and Philip would go down as not only a hero during that season, but one of the most beloved players in Auburn Tiger history.
As we know today, Lutzie died in a tragic car crash on June 29, 2014 at the age of 23. In his memory, his father, Mike, started the Lutzie 43 Foundation.
The objective of the Foundation is to pass on Philip’s many remarkable characteristics in terms of community service, leadership, and service to others. With the foundation, Mike speaks to groups of people ages 12-24 all across the United States and shares Philip’s successes and the story that lead to his death.
On Thursday, August 10, at 7 p.m., Mike will speak to the SHS football team, cheerleaders, coaches, parents, and other community members who want to hear Philip’s story at the J Craig Smith Community Center.
The foundations motto is “Live like Lutz, Love like Lutz, Learn from Lutz.” Mike, the Executive director of the foundation, told SylacaugaNews.com these are the main pillars the foundation is built on.
To live like Lutz means exactly that, to live by the core characteristics Philip lived by. Mike said his son was always grounded, and loved to serve others in the classroom, on the field, in a service organization or among family and peers.
Philip’s heart is the reason everyone needs to love like Lutz in Mike’s opinion. The foundation’s website says, “Philip greatly cared about his relationships with God, family, friends, teammates, and his alma maters and was constantly connecting people together. If young people can Love Like Lutz, they will be able to capitalize on the relationships in their lives by identifying role models and mentors who can help them make the best decisions for their future.”
Learn from Lutz may be the most important aspect of the foundation and the speech Mike gives. Mike does not shy away from the circumstances of his sons death in 2014. Philip, although not driving the vehicle he was killed in, had an extremely high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time of his death. One bad decision, however, does not define who you are and will not over shadow what Philip meant to so many people.
The message to the people of Sylacauga is this, mistakes and failures are inevitable, but many are preventable as well. Young people must Learn from Lutz and the decisions he made in order to avoid making unnecessary mistakes that can be very costly.
“Philip did not commit a crime, but that does not change the fact that he made a series of poor decisions,” Mike explained. “We are trying to make sure these high school kids learn from Philip. There are many things I wills peak on.”
Mike mentioned many of the particular topics such as drinking, proper friendships, character traits, and more that will be the main talking points.
The event is sponsored by Sylacauga’s newest gym, Workout Anytime. “We are excited to bring this event to the city we now call home. Investing in the community and local youth is something we look to continue, and is a paramount objective we hold as an organization in Sylacauga,” said Wes Caudell, Co-Owner of Workout Anytime.
Mike is set to speak at 7 p.m. Dinner will precede the speech. The community center holds right around 350 people. Those attending are encouraged to arrive early.
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.