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Young Leafs fan devastated after no one came to his birthday party gets present of a lifetime
TORONTO -- A young Toronto Maple Leafs fan, who was devastated after no one showed up to his birthday party, was given the present of a lifetime.
Newfoundland boy Kade Foster received high-profile birthday wishes earlier this week after members of the Maple Leafs learned he spent his birthday alone.
The 11-year-old's father tagged Leafs forwards Mitch Marner and John Tavares in a tweet following the disappointing birthday party.
"My son Kade had his 11th birthday party last night. None of his invited friends came," Jason Foster said in the tweet.
"I'm hurt. I’m asking my Twitter friends to show him some love today. If you have a minute, please send him a birthday wish."
A photo linked to the tweet showed Kade in a Maple Leafs t-shirt, with a Leafs birthday cake in front of him.
"Wanted to wish my friend Kade a Happy 11th Birthday! Your friends from the Maple Leafs have a surprise gift coming your way!" Marner tweeted in response.
On Saturday, the Leafs posted a photo to their Twitter account showing Kade with multiple members of the team.
"Meeting the guys," the tweet said.
Air Canada paid for the Foster family to fly from Newfoundland to Toronto. He watched the Leafs practice on Saturday morning and was given tickets for the game against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.
This morning, Kade, along with his family, fist bumped the Leaf players as they headed onto the ice for practice.
“You never want to see a kid go through that, especially on his birthday," Leafs defencemen Tyson Barrie told reporters on Satuday.
"I think he enjoyed it and it's important for the game."
Meanwhile, Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said he wanted to make sure Kade had an "incredible" birthday experience.
"Every birthday experience - especially at that age - is special, so when that came across we wanted to give him something to celebrate and be happy about," Tavares said.
Earlier this week, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said NHL stars should give back to supporters when given the chance.
"Well, why wouldn't they? Part of your job with the notoriety you're given, the opportunity you're given, is to be a good person," Babcock said Monday. "And not just when cameras are watching, but be a good person all the time.
"When you have a chance to make someone's life better, you should. I don't know what we're doing for him here, but I imagine it'll be fun. When you reach out and you help anybody, it's just not just good for them. It's good for your soul, too. Makes you feel good about yourself. I think it's important our guys do that."
With files from The Canadian Press.