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Batman works magic at Shriners hospital

Joyce McKenzie

Tampa Bay Online

Feb 11, 2013

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Batman, played by Lenny Robinson, drives his Batmobile into the Shriners Hospital for Children.

An ordinary man from Baltimore recently unleashed his super hero powers before a captivated audience at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa.

Donned in Batman regalia, the caped crusader, otherwise known as Lenny Robinson, made a grand entrance onto the campus in his $300,000 Batmobile, custom built to the likeness of the one popularized on television and movie screens decades earlier.

The flashy, black with red-trim Batman-decaled driving machine even sported a "4 Batman" license plate.

Robinson's mission: To bring smiles to faces of kids undergoing treatment and to instill in their minds that they, like Batman, are super heroes in their own right for "fighting the good fight" in an effort to be the very best they can be.

The Batman impersonator is a retired 49-year-old millionaire who, while in high school, founded a cleaning business that grew to employ more than 300 employees.

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Lenny Robinsin as Batman talks to Jenia Bonilla, 11, of Panama, who had surgery at the hospital for children with orthopedic needs.

It is the profits from the sale of his business that have also afforded him the luxury of owning not only this vehicle, but a second Batmobile – this one a black Lamborghini – as well.

Robinson said his three sons, whom he said at young ages were Batman fanatics, inspired him to bring the same kind of joy they experienced to sick and special-needs children.

Since 2001 he's visited multiple hospitals in the Baltimore area and beyond. And a YouTube video of his good deeds has received more than 20 million views.

With no intention of slowing down, he just began a year-long road trip to cities along the East Coast where he showers every child he meets with autographed books, bracelets and other treats.

"We've made such an impact on the kids we've visited and the feeling has been so rewarding," Robinson said.

By pure happenstance, Shriner Robert Billings from the Bahia Shrine in Orlando was able to get in on the excitement after dropping off a patient at the facility.

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Jayden Ladson, 2, born with paralysis on the left side of his body, receives a signed gift from Batman, Lenny Robinson. His mother, Lisa Ladson, enjoys the visit.

"I think it's great for the kids and it's something they'll remember for a long, long time," he said.

Kristen Zajac of Tampa and her 5-year-old twins, Meghan and Mark, were also on hand for Batman's arrival. Both were recipients of his multiple hugs and handshakes.

In fact Mark, who is undergoing treatment at Shriners for Blount's disease, a disorder of the shin bone that has caused his lower leg to turn inward, had the thrill of being picked up by Robinson and held in his arms.

"We're just so grateful for his appearance and to Shriners and what they do for our children," Kristen Zajac said.

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