Marilyn Ruiters went above and beyond to make sure her son Emilio got the chance to follow his dreams, something she never got the opportunity to do.


Ocean View, South Africa – Marilyn Ruiters had to tell her son she couldn’t afford to send him to an audition in Claremont, Cape Town. She was gutted that she had to squash his dream in such a way. Later on, after the audition had taken place, Marilyn knew there was a second one and asked Emilio, when and where it was.

Emilio confirmed the next audition for the competition was taking place in Port Elizabeth. He never expected to attend as he knew they couldn’t afford to participate in the one that was in the same province.

Marilyn however, knew she needed to encourage her son’s dreams and took R270.00 from her daughter’s school fees to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels. She then launched a raffle to raise enough money to travel with him to PE for the final audition.

Once they had the money, along with friends and family chipping in, they set off for PE so Emilio could get his chance to explore his dream. Marilyn knew what it felt like to push a dream aside, and she wanted so much more than that for her son.

They arrived in PE at 4 am, missed their chance to book into their hotel room and had to walk kilometres in the dark to get to the hall where the auditions would take place. Thankfully they met a good samaritan who drove them to the hall. The man, Malcolm, an Uber driver, offered to help them.

Malcolm didn’t like the idea of leaving them in the dark at the hall, so he drove them to a nearby garage where they could safely sit and wait for 8 am.

Together they walked to the audition, but Emilio’s confidence was shaken, and he didn’t make it through the audition. Malcolm, the Uber driver, called to check on them, and when he heard the news, he offered to drive them to their hotel so they could rest.

Before setting off back to Ocean View in Cape Town, the pair took a nap and woke to messages from the talent scouts. They had revised their decision and wanted to send Emilio to Los Angeles.

While Marilyn was short on cash to get the bus tickets back home, she was so happy to see how excited her son was. Malcolm stepped up once again and paid the difference for the bus ticket to get the excited family home.

By the time they reached home, Marilyn’s joy was slightly tainted with the idea of having to find enough money to send Emilio to LA. She refused to think on it one second further and quickly started raising funds every way possible. She needed to raise R70,000.00 before the 13th of September. She managed to raise R39,240.00, and now friends have stepped in to raise the rest using BackaBuddy.

Sharon Davey has managed to get the funds up to R61,000.00 with just a few days to go; they believe they will make the last few thousands easily. Marilyn needs to accompany Emilio as he is under 18, and requires a guardian at the competition.

“I am fundraising to assist Marilyn in getting her son, Emilio, to Los Angeles. He was selected to participate in the IPOP competition. He missed his audition in Claremont, Cape Town, but then was able to do his audition in Port Elizabeth, after having to struggle to get funds to do so.

So far, Marilyn has raised R39 240. This means that in a week she has very nearly hit the halfway mark!

She thanks all of you for your support. Her Father is literally blown away by your support and acts of immense kindness. She needs to raise her target of R70,000 target by Friday 13 September, but I have every faith that she and every one of us can pull together and smash this.

Marilyn said that today she was overwhelmed when customers who were shopping at Dischem donated cash to her when paying at the tills where she works as a cashier. All funds raised will be used to cover transport costs to get herself and Emilio to LA.

This is a great community initiative for a hard-working mom with a talented child.”

Marilyn cannot wait to watch Emilio’s dream come true. Together they will shine! If you would like to help them cover the last amount to get to LA, you can find the crowdfund here.

Best of luck Emilio, we are holding thumbs for your crowdfunding success as well as your success at the competition.

Sources: BackaBuddy / False Bay Echo
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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