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A Minnesota mother was so distraught when all of the girls invited to her daughter's birthday party said they wouldn't be there that she took matters into her own hands and got an incredible turnout.
Ten-year-old Mackenzie Moretter has a developmental disorder called Sotos syndrome, which causes children to grow at a faster rate but often delays their social and intellectual skills.
"Kids are friendly to her, but she doesn't have friends. No one calls and talks to her. I'll show up at her school and she will be playing alone," her father, Matthew Moretter, told NBC affiliate KARE.
That solitude was about to extend to her tenth birthday, last Tuesday.
"I was sad that no one was coming," Mackenzie told KARE.
Mackenzie's mother, Jenny Moretter, didn't want her to have to play alone at her birthday party though, so she took to Facebook, asking a few friends to bring along girls close to her daughter's age to celebrate, even if only for a quick visit to say "Happy Birthday."
But the Moretters got much more than they asked for: At least 500 people showed up to the party Saturday, according to a GoFundMe page, hastily set up to fund the massive turnout at a park in Shakopee, Minnesota.
Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke proclaimed Saturday "Mackenzie Moretter Day," and volunteers showed up to provide music and donated food to the bash.
An actor playing Frozen's Elsa was also in attendance, as was Minnesota Vikings player Charles Johnson.
Mackenzie was grateful for the outpouring of birthday wishes.
"I have a hard time making friends in school, but thanks to all of you, my voice was heard. I love you all," Mackenzie said to the massive crowd, according to KARE.
The GoFundMe account raised $2,400, but thanks to the generosity of many, less than $400 was spent on the party. The rest will go to SimonSaysGive and Icing Smiles, two organizations that give birthday gifts, celebrations and cakes to kids in need and with critical illnesses, the organizer of the fund wrote on the page.
— Elisha Fieldstadt