Teammates fundraise with #24Strong tees

Mia Heck

Until Sept. 21, applied arts and science senior Brandon Sampson and criminal justice junior Sir’Vell Ford sold limited edition T-shirts to raise money for their severely injured teammate and close friend Robert Grays. Both men encourage their fellow classmates to purchase the shirts in efforts to aid the Grays family with medical expenses.

“We wanted to make these shirts as a token of our appreciation for Rob and his family,” Sampson said. “We want the community to [understand] how great of a guy Rob is so we created these shirts in hopes they feel Rob’s love on campus as much as we do on the football field. We also want to give the extra money raise to his parents to help with the medical bills.”

To view and purchase a shirt, direct message Sampson or Ford on Twitter by finding their handles: @6do_trixx and @_vell96.

All shirt purchases are due no later than noon on Sept. 21.

Grays was loved, his teammates said at the community gathering on Sept. 18.

“Rob is that little brother who watches over you and always makes you feel happy all the time and he challenges you in everything you do. He looks for the best in everyone,” Ford said. “We decided to make the shirt to show that Rob is our family and to show him our love.”

The front of the maroon shirt features a gold silhouette of a man above a large heart with #24Strong written above it and features Robert’s name across the shoulders above his jersey number.

“Showing love and support by purchasing a shirt and wearing them means so much to his family and his friends,” nursing sophomore Delanie O’Connell said. “I have close friends on the football team and I know this means a lot to them as well. Rob will not only be in our hearts and minds, but now he will be on the shirts we wear for him.”

Robert’s friend and special education sophomore Grayson Paul said, “Hearing that so many people are purchasing this shirt is uplifting because shows how our community is quick to support a great cause, and a great person like Rob. It is amazing to see how one person can affect our community the way he did and I am glad to see the community come together to support him after his accident.”