Strangers rally for B.C. teen’s birthday surprise

A Vernon teen’s 16th birthday dream came true after a parent’s plea on Facebook for guests

His name is Quinton Andruchow, he is from Vernon and he had one heck of a 16th birthday party.

Quinton is an autistic teen that was over the moon about his fast approaching birthday party. When his dad realized no one from Quinton’s class was going to attend his party, he was heartbroken.

“I wanted my son to know how special he is to me and after buying lots of food and drink people cancelled and I was devastated, so much so my neighbour saw me in tears and posted online,” explained his dad, Sean Quinton Starkes.

Starkes’ neighbour Marcie Roschat took to Facebook the morning of his party in a desperate plea to the community to have someone come celebrate his big day, and in true Vernon fashion, the community turned up.

“No one from his class wants to celebrate with him and it is breaking our hearts to see him alone on such a milestone,” read the initial Facebook post that was shared more than 150 times.

By the time the party began, an estimate of more than 70 strangers, the Vernon Fire Department and a local radio station arrived on their door step, gifts in hand, to make it a day he will never forget.

His father wrote on Facebook that Quinton called the party ‘unforgettable’.

“When people started showing up, I started cooking and saw a smile my little boy has not had in a long time. That was all I needed, no recognition, just the true smile on his face,” said Starkes.

“My kids are my life and I would do anything for them and Vernon showed me they have heart and truly this is a community that I, as a single dad, am proud to call home,”

Suzanne Robert was one of the strangers to see the plea online and jump into action.

“I saw the post that morning on Facebook and it tore at my heartstrings, I said no matter what we had planned that day we were going to take time out of our day and go to his party,” said Robert.

“I told my husband we were going and we were able to get our grandkids to come with us. I just thought it would be such a good experience for them to see inclusion, love and kindness in action.”

Robert tagged friends and shared the post as well to ensure more residents came to the party

“It just exploded on Facebook, Vernon firefighters were contacted, it was a community effort. So many people saw this need and opportunity to just show kindness to a complete stranger,” said Robert. “It was amazing.”

Many party guests even took the time to grab presents after it was Facebook that Quinton loves Minions.

Robert was in the dollar store looking for Minion items and ran into another family buying gifts for the same party.

“It was just this incredible sign and showing that Vernon is a city, but my goodness we are such a small town in so many ways. It was a day to be remembered,” said Robert.

“Everyone stepped up because there was a need. For me, I just thought it was the beautiful thing to come out of social media. So much negative comes out of social media, bullying etc., so to see something so positive that was huge for me.”


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Image pulled from Facebook

Image pulled from Facebook

Just Posted

Delta police request public assistance to find stolen boat

The 21-foot boat was stolen from Mitchell Way on Dec. 11

Reported pedestrian incident in Surrey bogging down traffic on 152nd Street

A pedestrian accident southbound on 152nd Street near 93rd Avenue is slowing down the commute

Border officers to rally at Peace Arch crossing

‘No desire to inconvenience the public’

Surrey urged to ‘rethink how they donate’ after mess on 135A Street

‘It creates quite a mess and we’re trying to keep that area really clean’ says Surrey Urban Mission director

Delta mosque holds Interfaith symposium asking ‘does religion promote extremism?’

The fourth annual event was organized by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at British Columbia Women’s Association

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Quarter of students were away sick at Maple Ridge elementary school

Students and teachers at Maple Ridge school away with colds, flu.

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Frustrated federal workers rally against Phoenix payroll system at B.C. MP’s office

Some employees out tens of thousands of dollars with ‘no end in sight’

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Maple Ridge becomes the mysterious haunt of the X-Files

Stars of sci-fi series show up in Memorial Peace Park

Most Read