MISSION, Kan. — Superheroes took over the Target toy section in Mission on Monday night. It was part of a $25,000 shopping spree for the patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
William Binderup, the owner of Elite Comics, has been collecting donations for a year to purchase all the toys. It’s an event he organizes annually and culminates with shoppers decked out in superhero gear.
Children’s Mercy provides a list of needs to Binderup, and he coordinates with the heroes, both costumed and not, to comb through the store.
Heroes such as Ironman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Captain America, Elasta Girl — and of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus — all joined in to help.
One of the youngest shoppers was a sweet 10-year-old girl named Emma.
“I want their spirits to have that Christmas shine in their hearts. I want them to be happy,” she said.
She’s so laser-focused on other kids and their pain that you might not realize she’s gone through her own share of sorrow. Her father, Wyandotte County Deputy Patrick Rohrer, was killed in June in a line-of-duty-death.
Rohrer was an avid comic fan and took his family to the shopping event every year. Since his death, there was never any doubt their December tradition would live on. Emma and the rest of his family participated Monday in his honor.
“This is part of Christmas tradition, and it will continue in Pat’s name,” said Stephen Carr, Rohrer’s brother-in-law.
“They deserve to go out in the sun, have fun, see their friends, talk, discuss things, work at school, play at the park,” Emma said of the kids at Children’s Mercy.
Even though those are gifts she can’t give, Emma’s gave what she could: her sweet spirit, something she surely got from her dad.
The gifts were delivered in a rented U-haul Monday night. Parents of patients will get to pick gifts on Friday from the hospital’s Snowflake Shop.