By Grant Bissell
St. Charles, mo (KSDK) - Last month NewsChannel 5 brought you the story of Sterling Thomas, a football player at Lindenwood University who suffered a severe spinal cord injury. The courageous 18-year-old survived an on-field accident, but now faces a long rehabilitation.
Now you can help Thomas and his family, just by grabbing a bite to eat.
Students and teammates at Lindenwood have been hard at work selling bracelets and miniature jerseys to help raise money for Thomas.
"It feels good, you know, it feels good emotionally and of course any money toward getting better is going to be perfect for the kid," said teammate Ben Gomez.
So far, the Lindenwood community has raised more than $10,000. And the St. Louis Rams went a step further, donating more than $40,000. All of it will go toward Thomas' medical costs as he rehabs at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a facility that specializes in spinal injury treatment.
The football team is keeping Thomas' number 27 jersey close by as they prepare for this weekend's bowl game.
"Our hearts are breaking for Sterling and his family and we want to do everything we can to play in his honor and take advantage of every second we get as a football team," said head coach Patrick Ross.
But on Tuesday, November 27th the number 27 will take on a whole different meaning. Twenty-seven restaurants from St. Louis all the way to Thomas' hometown in Oklahoma will come together to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Sterling Thomas Fund. One of the biggest contributors is Padavan's in New Town, just outside of St. Charles.
"Sterling, we don't even know him," said owner and Chef Markus Padavan. "But, the tragedy that happened, you know, whatever we can do to help this poor young kid out. Greg, my brother was the one. I was like what are we doing 10, 15 percent? He was like no, we're doing 50 percent."
"It's been unbelievable the support we've gotten across the country to try to help with Sterling and his family," said Coach Ross.
To participate, just print out a Sterling Thomas Fundraiser Flyer found in the PDF document on the left side of this story and show it to your server.