Batkid, a.k.a. Miles Scott, won the hearts of millions last week when a video of his Make-A-Wish Foundation-led day went viral. A 5-year old with leukemia, Miles was able to enjoy a day as his favorite superhero when San Francisco was transformed into Gotham City just for him; a Lamborghini was transformed into a Batmobile and donated for the occasion, and San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr got into the act by playing Commissioner Gordon and calling upon Miles to help the city. The boy got to save a damsel in distress, rescue the San Francisco Giants mascot, and got the key to the city, and the San Francisco Chronicle ran a special edition with the headline Batkid Saves City. In all, it was a perfect day for Miles, and his story is still making rounds online.
But all that fanfare cost money–over $100,000, which was mostly spent on rented sound systems and equipment to help make the day enjoyable for the thousands of people who turned out to help the day along–and on Friday San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar took to Instagram to voice his opinion about the expenditure.
“Waiting for Miles the BatKid & Wondering how many 1000s of SF kids living off SNAP/FoodStamps could have been fed from the $$. Join us 11/21 for the SNAP Challenge & Food Security Task Force hearings!” he wrote.
“What started out as a few hundred people at most on the steps of City Hall … grew into what would obviously attract a 20,000-plus crowd,” Christine Falvey, communications director for Mayor Ed Lee, said. “They weren’t going to see anything the way we originally had it set up.”
Now, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is trying to raise private funds to pay the city back, but not every city official shares Mar’s feelings.
“It was a very successful event. We were honored to be part of it. Miles gave to us more than we gave to him,” Falvey said.