BOX Family channels grief into benefit for park

By Dawn Schuett

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

ELGIN — A trip to the park delighted Chase Hutchison the way it would any toddler.

"He liked to be outside and run and get into stuff," his mom, Stacy Hutchison of Elgin, said as she remembered Chase’s playfulness. Tragically, Chase was just 17 months old when he died Dec. 9 from Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus sepsis, a medical term for an infection caused by bacteria in the blood. How Chase acquired the bacteria remains unknown.

"He didn’t show any signs of being sick at all, no fever or anything the night before," Hutchison said. "We just think about it and wish he would have shown some signs of being sick so that we could have maybe taken him in and had him seen. He was just happy and healthy, and just a real active little boy."


Born July 3, 2006, Chase was the Hutchisons’ second child. He wasn’t interested in toys that much, although he loved cars and trucks and had a little truck he liked to ride, his mother said.

"He kind of just liked to be around everybody," she said.

As Hutchison, her husband, Kenny, and their 5-year-old daughter, Kaylee, cope with their grief, the family is undertaking a community project in Chase’s memory.

They’re raising money for new playground equipment at the Elgin city park, a place Stacy Hutchison often took Chase and Kaylee.

"When I think of Chase, he just loved to play and the Elgin park definitely could use some improvements," said Hutchison, who works in finance at Mayo Clinic. Kenny Hutchison is employed at Stock Building Supply.

With the park a short distance from the family’s home, they’ll be able to see the playground every day.

"I just thought it would be a good reminder of Chase for us and would benefit the community, too," Hutchison said.

She is organizing several fundraising events in the coming months with the goal of having the new equipment installed later in the summer.


The first event is Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Elgin American Legion. It will include a silent and live auction, bake sale and children’s activities.

There are also plans for a golf tournament May 10 at Piper Hills Golf Course in Plainview; a pancake breakfast May 18 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church between Elgin and Plainview; a volleyball tournament June 7 at the Plainview American Legion; and activities during Elgin Cheese Days on June 13-15.

Talking about Chase and "doing something good in his name," Hutchison said, has brought her some comfort even as the heartache lingers.

"We miss him," she said.

Go & Do

What: Fundraiser, in memory of Chase Christopher Hutchison, for new playground equipment at the city park in Elgin

When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Elgin American Legion


Other details: There will be a silent and live auction, bake sale and activities for kids.

For more information: Several related fundraising events are also being planned in May and June. Visit for a complete list and for more about Chase and his family.


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