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Toews delivers 'Today Show' birthday wish to 7-year-old Blackhawks fan

Blackhawks captain also announced $100,000 donation to COVID-19 response fund

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / NHL.com Staff Writer

Seven-year-old Declan had to get up really early on this birthday, but getting a surprise greeting from Jonathan Toews was worth it.

Declan's grandmother, Donna Dassie, contacted the "Today Show" about Declan's birthday plans at a Chicago Blackhawks game being canceled because of the coronavius pandemic. The show enlisted Toews to send some birthday wishes. 

Around the :50 mark of the clip, "Today" host Hoda Kotb told viewers about Declan's predicament, which also included his own youth hockey games being cancelled, and said they contacted the Blackhawks to help out. 

Then Toews appeared on screen with a special message for Declan. 

Tweet from @TODAYshow: There are so many health care professionals we love, and we have some #WithYouTODAY messages to share, including one from Sharon. She sent us a shoutout for her sister, who���s a nurse in Illinois. pic.twitter.com/aUeCaojoPK

"Hey Declan, it's your buddy Jonathan Toews from the Blackhawks here. Just wanted to wish you a happy 7th birthday. We know you're missing your hockey games and your sports and school, so consider it a raincheck, buddy. We'll see you at the United Center soon, alright? So happy birthday, once again."

Meanwhile, Dassie was filming the moment on her phone and shared the footage of Declan's reaction. 

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Happy Birthday Declan! Hope this message from @JonathanToews made your day a little brighter 🎉 https://t.co/qS1Sjd5v9M

Also on Thursday, the Blackhawks announced that Toews has committed to helping the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund with a $100,000 donation through his foundation. 

The Blackhawks forward is joining the team's support for the fund, which was established by The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago, along with local philanthropists and business leaders. The fund provides resources to local nonprofit organizations that have been responding to needs in the Chicago region in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Blackhawks are also matching the first $100,000 in donations from fans that contribute to the fund through the end of March.

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