Everyone at American Litho knows how much National Account Executive Glenn Chelius enjoys magic, costumes and cartoon characters, especially the famed superhero Batman.
Recently, Chelius turned his love of the winged crime fighter into a healing event that one local child will likely never forget.
A longtime friend contacted Chelius to relate the story of a 4-year-old boy, Mason Cook, who had suffered a near-fatal fall from a 3rd-story balcony. Several weeks after the accident, Mason was still recovering at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the friend told him.
“She said he was a huge Batman fan, and that gave me a great idea,” Chelius says.
The owner of an authentic 1966, Adam-West-style Batman costume, Cheluis thought Mason might like a visit from his favorite superhero. He contacted the child’s family, gathered some Batman-themed gifts together and dropped in to see him in his Carpentersville home, where he’d been moved after his hospital release.
“He was still in a full-body cast,” Chelius says. “Even though he was shy at first, we had fun playing pop-a-shot with a Nerf ball. He returned every shot lying on his back and showed such a strong spirit.”
About a month later, Chelius heard that a friend who owns the Chick-Fil-A Restaurant in Crystal Lake was planning an Action Hero Night. So he reached out to arrange an even bigger surprise for Mason.
“After talking with the restaurant owner, I asked Mason’s parents if he had healed enough to attend the event. I was thrilled when they said yes. Then I arranged to bring my Batboat to the party,” Chelius says.
The boat is an authentic replica of the powerful Batboat featured in the original DC Comics series and many filmed adaptations of the Batman story.
When the little boy ran into the restaurant that night, Chelius said he was overcome by the sight of him – full of energy and excitement, freed from his cast and wearing his own Batman costume.
“Mason loved sitting in the Batboat, turning on the Bat Beacon and hitting the Bat Horn from the driver’s seat,” he says. “It was a great moment for all of us.”
Read more about Chelius’s playful way of uplifting others in Crystal Lake and beyond in the Northwest Herald (link).