None of the 10 or so girls invited to Mackenzie Moretter's 10th birthday party could make it—so the Shakopee, Minn., girl had to settle for a massive party with hundreds of people instead. Mackenzie has Sotos syndrome, which has delayed her speech development and learning and caused her to struggle to make friends, her mother explained in a Facebook post, saying all the guests had canceled or not responded and pleading for a few girls Mackenzie's age to come to her party. Within hours, the post had spread and hundreds of guests had promised to come to the party, including Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke, who declared Saturday "Mackenzie Moretter Day," BuzzFeed reports.
Around 400 people turned up, including Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson and his family, and local businesses donated plenty of food, WCCO reports. Mackenzie told the crowd: "I have a hard time making friends in school, but thanks to all of you ... my voice was heard. I love you all," reports KARE 11. On the event's Facebook page, Mackenzie's mom says she is humbled by the outpouring of support and will spread the "message of acceptance, tolerance and love." A GoFundMe page set up for the party received thousands of dollars more than was needed, and Mackenzie's family says the extra will go to Sotos syndrome research and organizations that put on birthday parties for sick children. (A British 5-year-old who skipped a birthday party was invoiced for the no-show.)