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

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Clippers win 1 Iron, 2 Bronze, 3 Gold medals at BC champs!

Vanderhoof Clippers Speed Skating Club now the largest club in B.C.

Vanderhoof logging truck driver saves moose calf from snowbank

Local man rescued the calf after it got stuck upside down in the snow

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Most Read