…for one special little Steelers fan!
“Mommy, I’m gonna cry. I’m famous! Do I need a Twitter account now?”— Richard Culliver to his mom Stephanie, after seeing his ‘Shout Out’ on the website.
On the Wednesday prior to the game, we posted a ‘Shout Out’ to seven-year old Richard Culliver (October 10th news below).
That’s when Jason “Moose” Cunningham and the members of Augusta SteelMasters, a Steelers fan club based in Augusta, Georgia stepped up. SteelMasters purchased the game tickets and assisted with the lodging for Richard and his family to make the trip to Tennessee’s LP Field from their home in South Carolina.
Game night arrived and not only did Richard get to watch his beloved Steelers in person, he got to meet them on the field before the game, courtesy of Coach Mike Tomlin who presented the family with field passes!
Richard was awestruck to meet Stevenson Sylvester, and to pose with Mike Wallace. His mom Stephanie said, “He was so excited when he saw Ben run out on the field!”
But it wasn’t just Coach Tomlin and the Steelers players that made his night special, players from the Tennessee Titans – Chris Johnson, Derek Mason, and former Steeler Nate Washington – autographed a football for Richard which was presented to him by former Steeler Yancey Thigpen. Richard, the new man about town (or at least about LP Field), was also asked by the Tennessee Titans cheerleaders to pose with them for a photo! After all, they had heard he was a “big celebrity”! Even NFL referee Ed Hochuli came over to meet Richard before the game and gave him a penalty flag to keep!
To borrow a quote from Steel City Mafia , “The fact that the Steelers’ lost isn’t the story here. Actually, this story puts simple wins and losses into perspective, and reminds people what is truly important in life.”
When the night was over, Richard didn’t let the loss ruin his experience. He told his parents on their way out of the stadium, “God is really looking out for me, and I really love him!”.
“Its been a very tough couple of weeks,” said Stephanie. “It was so nice for us to have a couple days that were made so special!! We need an army of prayer and this has really helped us! I’d like to say to everyone how much we appreciate all of the prayers and support!
“From Richard I’d love to say thanks to everyone for making him famous. He’s loved every second of it!”
– You can read the full story about Richard’s game experience on the Steel City Mafia home page here.
– You can see all the photos here.
– The Augusta SteelMasters fan club is doing a donation drive here. You can also check out their Facebook page here.
– Cristalena Potvinis, the family friend who alerted us to Richard’s story, is also doing a fundraiser with her business – every dollar raised by purchases will be matched by her and given to the family. You can view her site here.
– You can “like” Richard’s Facebook page here!
*Thank you to Cristalena Potvin, Stephanie McMillan, Brian and Terra Culliver, Jason “Moose” Cunningham, the members of Augusta SteelMasters, former Steelers Yancy Thigpen and Ray Seals, and the Steel City Mafia!!