Philanthropists have rescued San Francisco from a $105,000 tab the city incurred in November when it turned itself into Gotham City for "Batkid," a 5-year-old leukemia patient who stole hearts and captivated the nation as he hopped around the city in the trademark bat suit.
Miles Scott, who has battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia since he was 20 months old, brought the city to a halt Nov. 15 as he rode in a donated "Batmobile" -- a black Lamborghini tricked out with Batman logos -- along streets thronged with people cheering him on as he battled villains and saved the Giants' mascot, Lou Seal, at AT&T park.
All that staged action, though, came at a price. City officials had reportedly planned to cover the $105,000 tab with income from the fees that conventions pay for use of the Moscone Center. The Make-A-Wish Foundation was also raising funds to help pay the city back.
That's when philanthropists John and Marcia Goldman stepped in.
"We thought, 'Wait a minute. They shouldn't have to pay for such a good deed and such an amazing event,'" John Goldman told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation had expected a few hundred volunteers to show up, but the Nov. 15 event became a larger-than-life spectacle, with more than 14,000 fans pouring in from across the city and the surrounding region to witness the crime-fighting tyke dressed as Batman.
Local television covered the hours-long event live, beaming aerial images of his adventures. Members of Congress issued video pleas for help, and President Obama offered kudos in a brief video: "Way to go, Miles. Way to save Gotham." Even the U.S. attorney's office got in on the act.
The public response prompted the city to amp up Mayor Ed Lee's presentation of a chocolate key to the city with professional staging and big-screen TVs, but that inflated the tab to $105,000.
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