Life

Hockey Stars Step Up After Friends Bail On N.L. Boy’s Birthday Party

The Toronto Maple Leafs hinted at a "surprise gift" for the 11-year-old.

Kade Foster was not having the best 11th birthday ― so it came as a surprise when his name started trending across Canada and the U.S. as major celebrities spoke up to wish him the happiest of birthdays.

Kade’s father, Jason Foster, posted an image of his son on Sunday, wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs shirt and standing in front of birthday cake printed with an image of Leafs players John Tavares and Mitch Marner.

“My son Kade had his 11th birthday party last night. None of his invited friends came. That hurt,” Foster wrote.

He asked his Twitter friends to show Kade some love if they had a minute, tagging Marner, Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Foster had just over 2,000 followers at the time of writing.

The response was overwhelming. In just over 13 hours, Foster’s post had racked up more than 55,000 likes, 8,300 retweets and 20,000 comments, and “Kade” trended in both Canada and the U.S.

The Leafs showed true Canadian kindness on their official Twitter account, along with multiple stars from the team and around the world, tweeting their best wishes:

Marner, one of the players featured on the cake, said the team has a “surprise gift” on its way to Kade:

And Tavares, the other player on the cake, alluded to a surprise involving the whole team:

Many other sports stars, teams, television personalities and celebrities chimed in, including late-night host Lilly Singh, actor Ben Stiller, and even “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill:

Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a birthday message for the young boy.

Kade’s father said he couldn’t comprehend what had happened. “Kade and the rest of us are just amazed,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. He is an amazing son and he will never forget this day.”