In Silver Spring, Maryland, Police stopped a black Lamborghini without “tags” (no visible license plates). The man who stepped outside the vehicle turned out to be The Dark Knight himself… Batman!
Well, no. His real name (at least on his license and registration) is Leonard B. Robinson, a 48-year-old self-made success who made a pile of money after selling his commercial cleaning business.
So, why does he travel around as Batman?
In 2001, Lenny (aka Batman) began visiting Baltimore area hospitals to visit sick children, usually young cancer patients, and help cheer them on to get well. Due to the success of his visits, Lenny (sorry) Batman, has become more popular than ever visiting hospitals and charities (No, he doesn’t do birthday parties), at least twice a month to hand-out toys and talk about bullying.
Lenny the Batman spent $5,000 for an exact replica Bat-suit (he prefers the one designed for Michael Keaton in the first series of films) and spends an additional $25,000 a year on Batman-related toys to hand out to kids.
According to Maryland-based, Washington Post journalist Mike Rosenwald, Batman isn’t interested in the fame, only the smiles and thanks he gets from parents and patients trying to cope with a serious illness.
Visiting one area hospital Batman “picked up a little boy and said, ‘I have a present for you.’ He shook hands with a father and handed him a yellow rubber Batman bracelet, saying, ‘This will bring you good luck.’ The father said, ‘We need good luck.’ ”
So, what’s it like to go from Lenny to Batman, Rosenwald asks.
“Eventually, it sinks in and you become him,” Robinson says. “It feels like I have a responsibility that’s beyond a normal person. And that responsibility is to be there for the kids, to be strong for them, and to make them smile as much as I can.”
After coming out of the closet to reveal his true identity, Robinson has been the focus of several interviews. In a recent online exchange, Robinson is asked about the charity he supports.
“When you were stopped the other day, you were coming from Georgetown Hospital for the Hope for Henry Foundation. What is that?
“I wish more people knew about Hope for Henry,” Robinson said.
“Remember,” Batman says, signing off in true superhero fashion, “at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, ‘Self, did I make a difference?’ — and the answer better be yes!”
This week’s question: Is it still important to have heroes today?