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Bayside Middle School students raise funds to honor beloved friend killed in car crash

Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:25:27-04

BAYSIDE — Philip Gutter was an 11-year-old boy who had big dreams and aspirations. His friends said he aspired to be the Chief Justice on the Supreme Court and loved basketball.

In July, Philip, his mother Megan, and grandfather were all tragically killed in a car crash in northern Minnesota. Philip’s best friend, Quentin said he misses hanging out with him every day.

“It was his sense of humor and he came over to my house every day after school and he was really funny,” said Quentin.

To honor the 11-year-old, a group of Philip’s friends are now part of a committee called “Friends of Philip,” together they are trying to raise $30,000 to install a new basketball court at Bayside Middle School.

“If out of anyone, he would like deserve it the most...he was the nicest person I knew,” said Harrison, one of Philip’s friends.

Neil Willenson, one of the organizers of the committee, said the basketball court will be a SnapSports style basketball flooring. It will feature Philip’s number #33, have new hoops, include Philip’s signature, and a poem he wrote called ”Celebrate What’s Right With the World.” There will also be two benches called “Megan’s Benches.” to honor Philip's mother.

The kids have to raise about $21,000, but they are confident they can do it.

"I think we can raise the money if we ask our grandparents because most of the time they will say yes," said Cameron, one of Philip's friends.

They are coming up with different ways to raise the funds, like selling masks with Philip's number #33 and a 3X3 basketball tournament.

Neil said it was important to make sure the kids help raise the money to honor the remarkable 11-year-old. He hope’s the new court will be an area where those who loved Philip can find comfort.

“Part of healing is service and creating this special environment, this special basketball court that will live on for generations to come it will bring healing to all the children,” said Neil.

Once the funds are raised the kids will participate in installing the court. If you would like to help donate, click here.

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