The Lutzie 43 Foundation announces 17 winners of the 2024 Prepared for Life (PFL) Scholarship

The Lutzie 43 Foundation has announced the winners of the 2024 Prepared for Life (PFL) Scholarship as they have been given to 17 students after more than 50 applied.

The Lutzie 43 Foundation was started in honor of former Lassiter High School and Auburn football tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen after his tragic passing in 2014 at the age of 23.

Lutzenkirchen was an Auburn fan-favorite as he was a part of the Tigers football program for four years. During his time with the program, he became a national champion in 2010 when Auburn defeated Oregon in the BCS National Championship game and currently holds the record for the most career touchdowns by an Auburn tight end in program history with 14.

“We were founded almost 10 years ago. June 29, 2014 is when Philip Lutzenkirchen passed away, so we are about to hit our 10-year mark of the foundation being created. We exist to end distracted, impaired and unsafe driving and make our roads safer,” said Abby Forristall, Lutzenkirchen’s younger sister and the Director of Events and Opportunity Management for the Lutzie 43 Foundation.

The foundation was created not long after Lutzenkirchen’s sudden death and holds the objective of wanting people to make smarter decisions behind the wheel.

The foundation adopted the motto: “Live like Lutz, Love like Lutz, and Learn from Lutz.”

“Philip was an incredible human, I’m his younger sister and I looked up to him like he was my superhero and he was someone who had an amazing reputation and really was admirable and took over a room when he was in there and lived his life to the fullest,” Forristall said. “He was an available person who was always willing to offer a helping hand whether it be on the football field with his teammates or off the field in community service aspects or with his family. We want people to learn, live and love like Philip did, but learn deeply about why he is not on Earth anymore and learn from the mistakes he made that led to the accident that took his life.”

According to the foundations website, the award is given to, “Students who have demonstrated outstanding character in the areas of service and leadership, showing these characteristics in their decision to serve as positive ambassadors for safe driving to their peers and in their communities.”

The requirements to win the scholarship include having to be either a high school junior or senior or students that just graduated that are planning on attending a college in the near future, a minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have signed the 43 Key Seconds safe driving pledge, have completed the ‘Safeguarding Your Legacy Curriculum’ and must plan on going back to school during the fall semester after the distribution of the 2024 PFL Scholarships.

“We to-date, with the new 17 included, have given away 114 scholarships, totaling almost $500,000, so we are really proud,” said Forristall. “Our scholarship program is our biggest gift back to the community and to students who are basically ambassadors for safe driving in their communities and also learning from Philip’s attributes to live, love and learn from his life.”

The Lutzie 43 Board, the Lutzenkirchen family and the staff at the foundation review all of the applicants for the scholarships which are graded on a 20-point scale. The 17 applicants selected on average scored 18 or higher which came to be the 17 that were awarded the $4,300 scholarship.

This year’s award winners include: Marsean Cohen, Elsie Claire Coppage, Elizabeth Fitts, Alexus Harrison, Nathaniel Hayes, Emli Hewette, Tavaria Johnson, Samuel Jones, Shaw Mixon, Jessica Scott, Claire Simpson, Joseph Smith, Riley Smith, Grace Swain, Corrissa Velder, Blair Woodley and Sarakate Yancey.

Forristall believes the message of the foundation as a whole is being available to your loved ones and putting others before yourself when behind the wheel to keep others around you out of harm’s way.

“To be available. When you are available to others, you are putting yourself secondary and really putting others on a platform to help them,” she said. “I think that doesn’t just apply in daily life whether it is with your family or your friends but also when you are in the car. When you are available and thinking about other people you are not being selfish and on your phone, you’re not driving impaired or distracted, so I think it is just being available and loving others is the heartbeat of what we are trying to do.”



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