Local Community Saves 5-Year-Old’s Birthday

Willa Fitzgerald at her birthday table. | Image by Lee Fitzgerald

A 5-year-old’s birthday party last Saturday didn’t turn out at all as expected — and was all the more memorable for it.

Willa Fitzgerald of Keller wanted to celebrate her fifth birthday on June 17 by having a party with a few friends from school. Willa’s mother Alexa Fitzgerald sent out the invitations and booked a table at the Hat Creek Burger Company.

Despite having received a few RSVPs from Willa’s classmates and friends, Alexa began to get nervous as the start time came and went and the table still sat empty.

“Willa was sort of waiting for her friends to arrive and nobody was showing up,” Alexa told CBS News.

Alexa realized she was on the brink of any parent’s worst nightmare.

“I’m thinking to myself, no, this cannot be what’s happening. As a mom, the last thing I want is for my daughter, for the first time ever at 5 years old, to experience that type of social rejection — honestly, that’s what it is,” Alexa told WFAA.

In a desperate move to get at least one or two kids to join Willa, Alexa posted about the failed party in a Keller community Facebook group.

“If anyone has young kids and is looking for something to do right now, no one showed up to my daughter’s birthday party. It’s her first (and likely last) party. We’d love to celebrate with you,” Alexa wrote, according to WFAA.

Within 20 minutes, residents from all walks of life began pouring into the restaurant, several of them with gifts in hand.

“The entire restaurant was packed with families who refused to let my daughter celebrate alone,” Alexa later posted on Instagram.

The Fitzgeralds had moved to Texas two years ago and gotten the impression that residents were warm and supportive. They were not disappointed.

“I knew that the Keller community would show up but I didn’t realize to what extent,” Alexa told CBS News.

Willa made new friends and had a nice stack of presents, including a Barbie. Asked which was her favorite, she said “all of them,” according to WFAA.

Calling the whole day “life-changing,” Alexa expressed her gratitude on Instagram.

“I just want to say thank you to all of the people who came today to be with us. You not only showed up for my little girl, but for me as well. You picked me up and encouraged me forward when I felt like I had failed as a mom. Thank you,” read the post.

As The Dallas Express recently reported, the community also pulled through for another birthday in Texas.

Carl Reid of Big Spring turned 100 on Thursday and had asked in a Facebook post to receive 100 birthday cards to celebrate. The World War II vet ended up getting 4,500 birthday cards and more from people across the country and in Canada.

Support our non-profit journalism


  1. Local Community Saves 5-Year-Old’s Willa Fitzgerald – Round Up DFW - […] Dallas ExpressJune 21, 2023Uncategorized […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article