A very special group of kids got a true comic book experience as several officers from the Austin Police Department gave them a real treat. Superheroes, including Superman, Batgirl, and others, were on hand to take the children’s minds of their situation.
While the Austin, Texas, officers are already heroes in their daily lives, they took it a step further for sick children on SuperHero Day at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
— 53 Hours©™ (@53Hours) June 4, 2016
According to a report by KVUE, this was the second annual SuperHero day, as it went off so well last year. The event is the brainchild of APD Officer Matt Harmatuk and it meant several officers replacing their normal, day-to-day uniforms for colorful capes.
“Just even for a moment, if we can get them to take their minds off what’s going on, it’s well worth it,” Harmatuk said.
Harmatuk recruited several members of the Austin Police Department, as well as the SWAT team, persuading them to take off their uniforms and don their costumes to get into character to put great big smiles on kids’ faces.
What is really exciting for the children is the fact that the officers won’t merely strolling into the hospital to visit. They did their utmost to make the event as realistic as possible.
APD officers to trade uniforms for capes as part of Super Hero Day at Dell Children’s Medical Center: https://t.co/CeCfqInxZK
— KVUE News (@KVUE) June 2, 2016
Reportedly they started the event by dropping into the Dell Children’s Medical Center courtyard by helicopter and will proceeded to rappel down the sides of the building.
While this was all going on, the sick children and their families lined the hallways of three floors of the building to look out the windows and caught all the exciting action in the courtyard.
But it’s not only superheroes – a couple of villains were also on hand for the children’s entertainment, plus there was great stuffed toys for all the patients.
Austin police swap uniforms for capes for sick kids https://t.co/RodLf2ybKe
— Tom Jeffrey (@tjeffrey) June 19, 2016
“We’ll have four rappel lines set up for the superheroes to come down, say ‘Hi’ to the kids in their attempts to find the villain,” Harmatuk said.
As reported by USA Today, Wells Fargo Bank has donated the stuffed toys to be distributed to all the sick kids and once the superheroes have “defeated” villains Bane and Poison Ivy, the kids were able to pose with them for photos.
APD Officer Grace Herbert took things a little further. Rather than just donning a ready made costume, she made her own from scratch.
Herbert will be dressed as Raven from Teen Titans.
“Knowing that I get to make so many kids happy all at the same time is just the best.”
It turns out it is not a quick and easy event to lay on for the kids, as reportedly the officers practiced their role and studied up on their characters for months prior to the event to make sure they are 100 percent authentic for their young audience.
Watch the action from last year’s APD SuperHero day below, where the intrepid superheroes were involved in a daring and dangerous plan to capture The Joker after he stole ice cream and plush stuffed ponies meant for the sick children at the medical center.
“Superman” reportedly said at the time, “The Joker raised havoc and the kids need our help.”
[Photo via KVUE video]