I’m writing this for Miles. For San Francisco. For everyone who still believes a Superhero can save the day.
There is a little boy named Miles Scott who lives in Northern California. When he was 18 months old, Miles was diagnosed with leukemia. Now in remission, he had a wish, and that was to be a superhero. Today, Miles got his wish.
With the help of Make-A-Wish Bay Area, the Bay Area was turned into Gotham City. Over 13,000 people joined in for the adventures of the #SFBatKid. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation was working on planning this, my friend, and mentor, Stefania Pomponi, asked how they were going to spread the word. Never one to back down from a challenge, her team in San Francisco helped get the ball rolling.
Clever Girls Collective sent out the Clever Signal (Sparkly Unicorns — more than 6,000 of us) and folks were all too happy to jump in and help make a little boy’s dream of fighting crime and besting the bad guys come true.
Today #SFBatkid made headlines as 5-year-old Miles Scott celebrated the end of his battle with leukemia, taking over San Francisco as his Gotham City as 13,000 joined him. The incredible #SFBatkid adventure was made possible by Make-A-Wish Bay Area who helped make his wish to be Batman come true as many other individuals and organizations offered assistance to make the day a success. One such organization was Clever Girls Collective, a technology company and social media agency in San Francisco that offered social media help to today’s efforts.
Clever Girls Collective helped mobilize a vast network of over 6,000 social media influencers plus business contacts at companies like Twitter to take #SFBatKid to the next level. As events unfolded throughout the day, news organizations from across the country, celebrities like Val Kilmer who played Batman in the 1995 Batman Forever, musicians such as Hayley from Paramore, sports teams, politicians, and even Barack Obama jumped in to wish Miles well in his journey as the caped crusader with the President’s first-ever Vine video in the fast moving stream that chronicled today’s events.
San Franciscans came out in droves and didn’t disappoint. Streets were lined where Miles and his full-sized Batman partner, Eric Johnston, stylishly arrived in their black Lamborghini with Batman decals. Miles had a busy day, starting off by rescuing a damsel in distress. Later he liberated a bank vault the Riddler had burgled and then took time to recharge his Superpowers with a hamburger. Miles later had to take off to rescue the SF Giants mascot, Lou Seal, at AT&T Park.
San Francisco’s chief federal prosecutor, Melinda Haag, and FBI agent, David Johnson, joined as well. They charged the Riddler and the Penguin with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, kidnapping and obstruction of justice in a faux indictment handed down today. Even the San Francisco Gate got involved by adding it to their crime blotter.
Finally, after a day fighting crime, Miles was given a key to the city of San Francisco by Mayor Lee, who declared November 15, 2013 as Batkid day forever. Miles was presented with a gift from the “Gotham City Chronicle” whose headline read “Batkid Saves City”.
Thank you, Miles. You did more than save a city. Today you gave us hope. Unbeknownst to you, your crime fighting was a reminder that what we really want is a future where we all band together as every-day superheroes and make a difference. We are forever grateful, BatKid.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.
Images courtesy of Make-A-Wish/PaulSakuma.com. No compensation was received for this post although I used to work with Clever Girls Collective and couldn’t be more proud of their efforts today!