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Heart of the Lakes students receive Big League surprise

Some first and second grade Heart of the Lakes Elementary students from the 2009-2010 school year proudly display the giant birthday card they made and sent to Joe Mauer in April 2010. The students, who are now in second and third grade, received an autographed thank-you note from Mauer. Mick Meyer, Gunnar Anderson, Cadin Bormann, Chase Belka, Kaitlin Smith, Grace Kalina, Dakota Perry, Dylan Lysne, Carter Mulcahy, Skylar Botsford, Rowdie Lindquist and Eric Lammers proudly display the birthday card.

With the help of Laurie Krueger, first and second grade students at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School sent a giant birthday card to Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins.

Over 150 students took part in the birthday signing. The students who are now second and third graders received a surprise of their own.

Mauer sent every student an autographed picture of himself as well as a note to the students.

"Thank you so much for the birthday card last spring! I was blown away when I opened your envelope - I think it's just AWESOME! It's definitely the best card, as well as the biggest card I've ever received," Mauer wrote.

"I hope everyone had a good summer and the school year is off to a great start!"

Laurie Krueger noted said, "The kids were so excited to be a part of this and to be able to sign his birthday card. When we got the letter back it was really exciting."

Mauer apologized for not getting back to them sooner, as he makes it a point to open every letter of fan mail he receives.

Joseph Patrick Mauer is a Major League baseball catcher for the Twins. He has won three batting titles and the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

"This is amazing for the kids," Krueger said. "Simply amazing."