VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Seriously ill children and their loved ones had a treat Wednesday, as costumed heroes appeared outside their hospital windows.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, superheroes were seen swooping down from the sky – or more accurately, rappelling off the roof. They descended on Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla in full regalia – to wash the windows and to delight patients and their families.
It was almost overwhelming.
“It was pretty cool,” said patient Gianna DiToro. “I saw Captain America — and who was the other one? I saw Batman.”
Gianna’s brother, Anthony diToro, said he saw four superheroes in one day.
Contrary to popular conception, being a superhero does not pay especially well. But being a window washer pays good money by the hour, so the superheroes agreed to wear the uniforms from their other jobs to give the kids a little thrill.
CBS2’s Young rode in the bucket on a cherry picker with Batman.
“The idea that any of these poor kids are going through what they have to go through is just, you know, it’s heartbreaking,” Batman said.
Up against the glass three stories up, the kids seemed delighted. This was the third year superheroes visited the hospital, but the first time they washed the windows as part of the gig.
And it turns out Batman’s real name isn’t Bruce Wayne after all, at least in this case. It’s Dave Grady, the owner of window washing company Tri-State Façade.
“I own a local façade services company, yes. We clean windows, we power wash, we caulk. We do everything on the exterior of a building,” Grady said as he revealed his secret identity.
The high-flying concept is the idea of Grady’s brother and business partner, Jim Grady. He is young enough at heart to imagine what window-washing superheroes would look like through a child’s eye.
“I don’t know if it was my childlike mind or my childlike spirit, but something very childish, yes,” said Jim Gray, who was done up as Batman villain the Riddler.
Work is a matter of life and death at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, but with the superheroes it was awash in whimsy – in a little way to lessen the trauma and the dread. The real heroes got a little help from their costumed favorites in an important battle.