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