PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland's soccer community is coming together to support the Timbers' original team mascot, Timber Jim, whose daughter passed away from an asthma attack on Christmas Day.
"Jim is the original mascot," said Timber Joey, the team's current mascot. "He started coming to games back in the '70s. They finally asked him if he would maybe cut beams for goal celebrations and then it turned into a log that you see today."
Timber Jim, also known as Jim Serrill, passed on the mascot title to Timber Joey in 2008. Timber Joey described Serrill as his hero and inspiration.
The day after Christmas, Timber Joey heard from a friend that Serrill's daughter, Calli, had died the night before. She is survived by her son, parents and many friends and family.
This isn't the first time tragedy has struck Serrill's family.
"They're broken hearted, this is a broken hearted family. They lost their youngest daughter in a car accident in 2004 and this is their oldest daughter," explained Timber Joey.
Many people wanted to support Serrill, who has been helping others for years.
"Jim is a very special person. He's raised money for a lot of causes, never asking for anything back," said Timber Joey. "He's raised thousands of dollars through spread-the-love scarves promotion, for building parks for kids of all abilities, he's raised money for Meals on Wheels."
Timber Joey, with help from the Timbers Army, started a GoFundMe to help cover Calli's funeral costs. As of Friday evening, it has raised more than $60,000, with over 900 donations large and small.
"It's our language, you know. It's a language of love. We are spreading the love," said Timber Joey. "He is the one who really instilled that in a lot of fans. He's instilled it in soccer players and it's something that is very special for all of us."