Classmates of Jays fan with cerebral palsy campaign for him to throw first pitch

The classmates of a 10-year-old Ontario boy with cerebral palsy have put together a campaign for him to throw out the opening pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game this season.

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Hunter King is a "huge fan" of the Jays.

"I love watching them play. The Blue Jays are my dad's and papa's favourite too," he told CTV London, speaking through his computer.

That's why his Grade 5 classmates at Exeter Elementary school in Exeter, Ont., roughly 50 kilometres north of London, are trying to persuade the team to let Hunter throw out the first pitch in Toronto on June 22. The class is going to the game thanks to a donation from the non-profit Foundation for Education.

"We think it would mean a lot, and Hunter really loves the Blue Jays. It would be just a really good experience," said Hunter's classmate Keera Bjelis.

Hunter's class decided to champion his cause after a lesson on persuasive writing. Since then, each of them have a written a letter to the Blue Jays. They've also started a social media campaign to get the club's attention using the hashtag #HunterJune22, and created a couple of videos.

"I really hope it happens," said his classmate John Smiley.

The Jays have not confirmed whether their efforts have paid off, and students, teachers and parents are all still trying to make it happen.

"We've had a bit of contact with the Blue Jays, so we're trying to make things happen as much as possible, but I think we definitely still have a bit of work left to do, and the kids have some great ideas up their sleeves," said Hunter's teacher Ian Dekker.

Hunter's father, Shawn, has been stunned by the class' campaign.

"It was just amazing how all these kids can get together like that and … be a friend to Hunter," said Shawn King.

And their efforts are much appreciated by Hunter.

"My friends are really nice about helping me every day, and I couldn't believe it when they wanted to help me meet my favourite team," he said.


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