East Aurora High School to host Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie43 Foundation, for a talk about driving safe & making responsible choices

On September 20th and 21st, Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Atlanta-based Lutzie 43 Foundation, will be in East Aurora to speak to students, teachers, and staff about the effects of distracted and impaired driving. Lutzenkirchen built his foundation after the loss of his son, former Auburn University football player, Philip Lutzenkirchen and the circumstances around his death that could have been prevented.

Lutzenkirchen will address the EA community on Tuesday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the EA high school auditorium. Masks are required and all are welcome.

Distracted and impaired driving is an epidemic. The number of lives lost or injured on the roads continues to rise as cell phone usage and other distractions in vehicles increase. Currently, distracted and impaired driving incidents are the leading cause of death for ages 16-19.

“Our entire district will hear and feel the power of Mike Lutzenkirchen’s message about the importance of the decisions we make, that not only affect us, but those we love as well,” Bill Roberts, East Aurora High School principal said. “Forty-three seconds is all it takes to make sure you or someone you are driving with is driving distracted free.”

Mike’s address to the community about the foundation’s safe driving initiative, 43 Key Seconds, is personal. His goal is to reach as many people as he can with The 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative. The Lutzie 43 Foundation’s 43 Key Seconds initiative focuses on creating the first nationally recognized symbol for distracted and impaired driving. The physical 43 Key Seconds key serves as a physical reminder to drivers to have a clear head, clean hands, clear eyes and click their seatbelt before driving. Each student will receive a lanyard, key, and keycard with these messages.

Philip won over the hearts of the Auburn community before he lost his life as a passenger in a drunk driving accident. He was not wearing his seatbelt and was ultimately thrown from the car and killed on impact.


Since Philip’s death in June 2014, Mike has traveled to schools and organizations across the country to deliver hard-hitting truths about Philip’s accident in hopes to prevent drivers from making similar mistakes that might cost them their lives.

“Philip’s story and the 43 Key Seconds initiative is in place to protect the East Aurora community,” said Lutzenkirchen. “For the younger students, my message is how to be a great friend versus a good friend and how to focus on smart decisions.”

The East Aurora Schools Lecture Series Committee (EALSC) is coordinating Lutzenkirchen’s visit to the district with the hopes to reach all community members on the importance of distracted and impaired driving. In March 2022, the EALSC will welcome Dr. Delaney Ruston for a student and community conversation about screen time and technology for kids.


The Lutzie 43 Foundation aims to encourage and empower all drivers to be positive ambassadors for safe driving through character development, mentorship and real-world application. The Lutzie 43 Foundation was established in loving memory of former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen, shortly after he lost his life in a car accident in 2014. In his memory, the foundation’s 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative aims to create the first nationally-recognized symbol for distracted and impaired driving awareness and prevention. 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. For more information, visit lutzie43.org.

All are welcome to the Tuesday, September 21 talk in the East Aurora High School Auditorium. Masks are required.