Rutledge's Dream

Meet Rutledge

Meet Rutledge! A kind-hearted 7-year-old who has a gentle spirit and doesn’t let anything hold him back. Despite the complications of having autism and Type 1 Diabetes, Rutledge continues to persevere and live his life to the fullest with his friends and family!

Rutledge loves all sports, especially soccer and football. He has started playing soccer for his local team and wants to be a goalie so he can wear his beloved goalie gloves.

However, his true love is Gamecock football! He has a large flag that hangs over his bed and he watches the Gamecocks play on TV every Saturday with his dad. He loves seeing the atmosphere, excitement, and action of South Carolina football!

When he’s not playing or watching sports, you can find Rutledge either playing with LEGO’s or spending time with his two older sisters.

Rutledge’s ultimate sports dream is to attend a Gamecock Football game and be “up close” to feel the energy and excitement he loves so much from home, but in person!

Rutledge's Dream

Rutledge’s first day started with a MASSIVE surprise for Rutledge at his house. His extended family and the University of South Carolina Collegiate Dream Team came hands full with posters, signs, and a huge bundle of balloons! His face lit up with excitement, and he continued to smile ear to ear for the entire day!

Rutledge and his family piled into the van and we made our way to Target for a shopping spree. He furthered his LEGO obsession by picking out several sets, stuffed animals, and lots of other toys for his sisters and himself. We stuffed the van full with the new toys and headed to Rutledge’s favorite restaurant, McDonald’s! Cheeseburgers and fries filled the crew’s bellies.

After lunch, we headed to the hotel. Rutledge was surprised once again with a full University of South Carolina decorated room, snacks, and even a LEGO set of the William-Brice Football Stadium, thanks to the wonderful staff at the Columbia Graduate Hotels! After a well deserved nap, the crew planned an indoor picnic with the CDT. Dinner was donated by Idiot Pizza, who gave us the best pizza party ever.

Then, it was off to the South Carolina Women’s Soccer game, who were hosting the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Rutledge and his family have become major fans of Gamecocks Women’s Soccer since a number of the CDT members are a part of the team. The crew yelled and cheered while watching the team bring home the win and advance to the next round of the tournament. Rutledge even got to see the press box and some of the players after the game. We went back to the hotel to get a good night’s rest to prepare for another full day of Dream Mojo!

The two day started with an early morning wake-up call & we headed straight to Chick-Fil-A to fuel up for game day!

The crew started off with the Gamecock Walk where Rutledge and his sisters got to go through the tailgate and play lots of games. After the Gamecock Walk, we headed to the field to watch warmups on the sidelines. Rutledge was so excited to be on the field and we got to learn all about football logistics and lingo. Then, it was time to head to our front row seats to watch kick-off. After a few cold wind gusts, we figured it was time for hot chocolate to keep us toasty!

Shortly after halftime, we decided to head back to the hotel, get warmed up, and have a taco party in the room. The rest of the evening was spent building LEGOs with the University of South Carolina Collegiate Dream Team!

The next morning the crew had breakfast together in the Trophy Room at the Columbia Graduate Hotels. The CDT surprised Rutledge with Pit Viper sunglasses and a Coach Shane Beamer signed football! The crew gave lots of hugs and said their “see-you-later’s” before everyone headed back home.

Rutledge had an incredible weekend and his big personality shined so bright, keeping smiles on everyone’s faces all weekend!

Thank you to our National CDT Sponsor, Volvo Construction Equipment North America!

Dream Snapshots

Dream Reels

Thank you to our National Collegiate Dream Team Sponsor, Volvo Construction Equipment