Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson was among 300 strangers who attended a Minnesota girl's 10th birthday party after her friends turned down their invitations.
Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson was among 300 strangers who attended a Minnesota girl's 10th birthday party over the weekend after her invited guests turned down their invitations, reports KARE11.
Shakopee native Mackenzie Moretter planned to hold her party on Saturday, but after the invitations came back unaccepted, her mother, Jenny, posted a message on Facebook asking for at least 10 of her friends to come with their daughters. They came through... and then some.
Along with Johnson, "Elsa" from Frozen, a DJ, Shakopee mayor Brad Tabke and about 300 other strangers showed up. Members of the town's fire department brought their fire truck, and a Sam's Club and Mr. Pigs Stuffed BBQ and Catering donated food and beverages to serve 250 people.
Mackenzie was diagnosed with Sotos Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, when she was 1, her father explained to KARE11:
Her dad, Matthew Moretter, says a tumor fused to her spine is how doctor's discovered her condition.
"It causes gigantism where kids grow at a faster pace. So Mackenzie is a lot taller than other classmates," he said. "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."
A GoFundMe.com account created for Mackenzie's party raised $3,720 as of Monday afternoon, and her family said it will donate some of the funds to benefit Sotos syndrome research.
Johnson, 26, saw his first NFL playing time last season. In 12 games, he caught 31 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns.
He tweeted a thank-you to Mackenzie's family after the party on Saturday:
- Mike Fiammetta