Students raise money at basketball game for Gutzler family

Students raise money at basketball game for Gutzler family

PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - The basketball game on Friday, January 9 between Pinckneyville and Nashville took on a special meaning as the communities began a healing process.

Sailor Gutzler hiked to safety through thick underbrush in very cold temperatures after surviving a plane crash that killed her parents, a sister and her cousin.

That cousin, Sierra Wilder, was laid to rest on Wednesday.

Funeral services for the Gutzlers were held on Friday.

The basketball game was all about coming together.

Before the varsity game there was a moment of silence to give respect to the Gutzler family.

Sierra Wilder attended Nashville High School.

Throughout the entire week students at Pinckneyville have been raising money. The superintendent said it was all the idea of two seniors at the school.

"And so the first day we had a bake sale and then we had a spin off and then we had another bake sale and then we had a young man that said, 'why don't we just set up a collection bucket for those wanna donate?' And it's just one idea after another," Superintendent Keith Hagane said. "You know, these great ideas from our kids have popped up and they've carried them out."

Students had on shirts that say, "Heartache: Pinckneyville stands with Nashville."

Many different items were given to help support this cause from many shops around the area, more than $400 worth.

There will also be raffles going on throughout the night and the band is getting together after the game to raise money as well.

Nearly $1,300 has been raised so far, not including the money that will be raised on Friday evening.

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