'Fred's mother could see and put a face to everyone who's helping out'

'Fred's mother could see and put a face to everyone who's helping out'

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Andy Cutter has been a Beaver fan his entire life.

When he heard about Oregon State University football player Fred Thompson's death last December, it struck a chord, even though he'd met him once.

"He's a real personal guy, real fun. I felt like I knew him," said Cutter.

Thompson died of an enlarged heart while playing pickup basketball at the student recreation center on campus.

In March, Cutter met Thompson's mother, Cora Wilcox, at a benefit concert for Thompson. That's when Cutter found out Thompson's grave doesn't have a headstone. 

He wanted to do what he could to help. 

"I explained to her my shirt idea and asked her if I could do it and she said yeah do it," said Cutter. "It says 'believer for life' on there and I wanted it to be something that fans could wear every day and I used his nickname on the back, 'Brick Squad.'"

Cutter's goal is to sell 250 shirts. All proceeds will go towards purchasing a headstone for Thompson's grave in Oakland, Calif.

The community has been supportive, including those at Corvallis Fire Station #3. They were the first ambulance company to respond to the call that tragic day.

"A small community like Corvallis, we always come together for things like this. It's pretty amazing," said firefighter Kevin Davis.

"There's been other tragedies and big events in Corvallis and the community rallies behind those tragedies," said Greg Creswick of Station #3.

 For every shirt that's sold, Cutter snaps a photo.

"I've been posting it on Facebook so Fred's mother could see and put a face to everyone who's helping out," he said.

Others in the community want to help out through purchasing shirts or donating money. "I love this heart that says 'I can do something about that, I can help out' and he just did it," Chris Nordyke said of Cutter.

"I think it's a great model for us that sometimes when we see an area where we can help, we second guess and say 'oh, I don't have the time or the money' when really there's alot we can do," said Nordyke.

To purchase a t-shirt, you can contact Cutter directly via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/beaverbeliever.cutter