Northeast Times

Batman to the rescue

— The Caped Cru­sader re­cently vis­ited Vista Street to spend some time with a boy won­der.

Lenny Robin­son, a Bal­timore busi­ness­man who travels as Bat­man to sur­prise kids, pulls up to 4-year-old Cole Mul­hol­land’s home for a vis­it. Cole has two in­cur­able dis­eases and his fam­ily con­tac­ted the Wish Upon a Hero found­a­tion about Bat­man’s vis­it, Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 5, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa.

Start­Frag­ment

Holy su­per­hero!

What was Bat­man do­ing on Vista Street?

Bat­man, aka sub­urb­an Bal­timore busi­ness­man Lenny B. Robin­son, was in town to vis­it his new­est friend, 4-year-old Cole Mul­hol­land.

Cole, of the 4200 block of Vista St. in May­fair, has two in­cur­able dis­eases. Ehlers-Dan­los syn­drome and Os­teo­gen­es­is im­per­fecta af­fect his muscles and bones.

The young­ster is a big fan of all things Bat­man. Michele Mul­hol­land, the boy’s moth­er, is fa­mil­i­ar with Wish Upon a Hero, an or­gan­iz­a­tion that seeks to grant wishes of all kinds.

In early Au­gust, Mul­hol­land pos­ted a wish re­quest at wishupo­na­hero.com

The re­quest read, in part, “All Cole talks about is Bat­man. How he wishes he was like him and how he wants to drive in his car with him. Cole said when he grows up he wants to be Bat­man. How cute is that? I would love for Cole to meet Bat­man just so I can see the smile he so de­serves on his face.”

The wish was gran­ted, as Robin­son and Wish Upon a Hero work closely to­geth­er.

On Sept. 5, Robin­son pulled his black Lam­borghini in front of Cole’s house for the sur­prise vis­it. He was dressed in a pro­fes­sion­ally made cos­tume.

Once he entered the home, Cole was startled to see his hero.

The boy was dressed for the oc­ca­sion, wear­ing a Bat­man shirt, cape, mask and belt.

Bat­man handed him a knap­sack full of gifts — T-shirts, tat­toos, sunglasses and blanket. He signed it, “You rock. Best wishes al­ways. Bat­man.”

Cole and Bat­man high-fived, and the Caped Cru­sader handed him a couple of presents from Robin. The Boy Won­der was stuck in Gotham City and un­able to make the trip.

Bat­man gave Cole and his friend An­thony a gi­ant bat glove to try on their little hands. The su­per­hero also handed the boys auto­graphed activ­ity/col­or­ing books, note­books, brace­lets and glow-in-the-dark neck­laces.

Once the heavy rains stopped, it was time for Cole and Bat­man to sit in the Lam­borghini. Cole sat in the driver’s seat and turned the steer­ing wheel as Bat­man mu­sic played from the ste­reo.

The Bat­mobile is un­avail­able dur­ing in­clement weath­er.

“It doesn’t have a roof or win­dows,” Bat­man said.

Robin­son makes it a habit to vis­it sick chil­dren at hos­pit­als and their homes. He’s been hand­ing out Bat­man paraphernalia to the up-and-com­ing su­per­her­oes since 2001.

“To know I’m mak­ing a dif­fer­ence, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Robin­son made news in March when a po­lice of­ficer in Mary­land pulled him over in his Lam­borghini be­cause he had only a Bat­man li­cense plate. The stop was cap­tured on video, and it went vir­al.

As for last week’s spec­tacle, Cole’s fam­ily, friends and neigh­bors en­joyed it.

“This is an awe­some story,” said Re­id Mul­hol­land, the boy’s fath­er.

Re­id Mul­hol­land ex­plained that Wish Upon a Hero pre­vi­ously gave Cole a re­fur­bished laptop com­puter when some­body stole his iPad.

“This or­gan­iz­a­tion is awe­some,” he said. Mul­hol­land said the vis­it made his son’s day, week, month and year.

“He loves Bat­man,” he said.

South Jer­sey’s Dave Gir­gen­ti is the founder and pres­id­ent of Wish Upon a Hero, formed in Septem­ber 2007. The first wish gran­ted was for a U.S. Army staff ser­geant named Rich who wanted Lasik eye sur­gery be­cause his con­tact lenses were ir­rit­ated by blow­ing sand in Ir­aq and his glasses were steamed by sweat and desert heat.

Since then, more than 94,000 wishes have been gran­ted. It’s free to make a wish.

There are 10,000 wishes wait­ing to be gran­ted by people vis­it­ing the Web site. Among the not­able people who’ve helped grant wishes are coun­try mu­sic stars LeAnn Rimes and the Zac Brown Band, pro poker play­er Beth Shak, Real House­wives of At­lanta star Phaedra Parks and the hus­band and wife team of Kiss mu­si­cian Gene Sim­mons and act­ress Shan­non Tweed.

Re­quests run the gamut, from a fire de­part­ment need­ing auto­mated ex­tern­al de­fib­ril­lat­ors to a moth­er want­ing clothes for her baby to a sickly wo­man hop­ing to run up the Art Mu­seum steps to a fam­ily in need of help pay­ing a util­ity bill or buy­ing gro­cer­ies.

“It’s com­munity build­ing at the ba­sic level,” Gir­gen­ti said. “Every­one can be a hero. Every­one can help someone some­how.”

Ry­an Rend­frey, the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s dir­ect­or of hero pro­grams, said the vis­it to Cole’s house was among the more mem­or­able wishes gran­ted.

“An­oth­er suc­cess­ful wish gran­ted,” he said. “We’re Amer­ica’s char­ity. We’re at ninety-four thou­sand wishes and count­ing.”

At the end of his vis­it, Bat­man is­sued one of his fam­ous lines, a sign of an­oth­er im­port­ant duty ahead:

“To the Bat­mobile.”

With that, Bat­man — along with Cole, his mom and the folks from Wish Upon a Hero — was off to vis­it pa­tients at Chil­dren’s Hos­pit­al of Phil­adelphia. ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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