West Michigan’s own Dark Knight inspires kids of all ages

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Superheroes have long captured our imagination. Their stories encourage us to be better, stronger and smarter. One local man transforms into Batman to inspire some of our youngest people right here in West Michigan.

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He goes by the Dark Knight of Michigan, and what defines him is not about who he is underneath, but what he does in costume.

"When you see their eyes light up," he says as he gazes over a moonlit Grand Rapids. "When they see their favorite superhero or a superhero in general, that just inspires them just that much more, especially if they’re facing adversity.”

Visiting Helen DeVos

Visiting the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, The Dark Knight of Michigan encourages kids to stay strong.

"Some will give hugs, some will have an open mouth and deer-in-the-headlights look.Some will be afraid at first, and as you spend time with them, they’ll start to warm up."

After they warm up to the Dark Knight of Michigan, they challenge him to video games, build Legos and even to read stories, earning this Batman a special place in the kids' hearts.

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"Batman probably relates more to everybody because he’s mortal," he says. "He doesn’t have the superpowers that Superman does or the Flash. He fights ... with his mind, his brawn, and all his technology that he has. That’s what makes him a more realistic and more, more human.”

And while he goes to birthday parties and weddings, all the money he makes goes back to the kids, “There is no profit in this. I do it for the kids that need that extra little inspiration."

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