Calif. 5-year-old's Batman wish to come true at S.F. 'Gotham City'

SAN FRANCISCO-- A 5-year-old boy will embark on a series of crime-solving adventures when San Francisco is converted into "Gotham City" Friday as part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation event for the sick youngster, who wants to be Batman, reports CBS San Francisco.

On November 15, Miles, from Siskiyou County in north Calif., will be called in to save the day as "Batkid" when villains steal Giants mascot Lou Seal, attempt to rob a downtown bank and perform other evil deeds. Miles' crime-solving day is part of the foundation's mission to turn dreams into reality for sick children. Miles has leukemia.

Foundation spokeswoman Jen Wilson said the kindergartner has no idea what is in store for him when he comes to the Bay Area with his family next week.

Wilson said the foundation has been working with his parents to get advice on what would appeal to Miles, but even his parents don't know the full extent of the activities planned for the young superhero-to-be.

The plans include a morning call from San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr asking Miles to help a damsel in distress on a Cable Car and then assist in capturing "The Riddler" as he raids a downtown vault.

While Miles is taking a lunch break at the sixth-floor restaurant at the Union Square Macy's, a crowd will form in the plaza below, urging "Batkid" to help free Lou Seal.

In a Batmobile convertible, Miles will chase the beloved mascot's captor, "The Penguin," and save Lou Seal.

He will then meet San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who will present him with a key to the city at City Hall.

Wilson said volunteers are being asked to gather at Union Square as part of the flash mob for "Batkid" shortly before 12:45 p.m. local time, and more volunteers are being sought to cheer on Miles at City Hall.

He is expected to arrive around 2 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza, where the crowd will hold up signs of encouragement and praise as he receives recognition from the mayor on the City Hall steps.

After the ceremony with city officials, Make-A-Wish Foundation organizers will hold a news conference around 2:15 p.m., and Miles' parents -- and maybe even the "Batkid" himself -- will say a few words, Wilson said.

More than 1,200 volunteers have signed up online to attend the various events for Miles.

RSVPs and donations can be made online.

San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago has even more treats lined up for Miles.

The cartoonist has gotten in touch with friends at DC Comics and Warner Brothers to get Miles some Batman toys and merchandise.

"I want to get him as much Batman stuff as he can possibly fit into his home," Farago said.

Several artists have offered to draw Miles as Batman, with the cartoons to be presented on poster boards.

The drawings will likely depict Miles fighting bad guys or riding in the Batmobile, Farago said.

Farago said he wishes the adventurous day and the opportunity for Miles to become a real-life superhero were under better circumstances.

Farago said he is trying to have the comics and toys ready for Miles when he comes to "Gotham City" next week.

He said he has extended an invitation to Miles' family to visit the Cartoon Art Museum, if they have any time between fighting crimes.  


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