This Is How Much San Francisco Spent Giving Batkid His Wish

It's not cheap becoming Gotham

  • Share
  • Read Later
Katy Steinmetz for TIME

Miles Scott, a 5-year-old leukemia patient, became Batkid when the Make-A-Wish Foundation transformed San Francisco into Gotham City on November, 15, 2013.

The city of San Francisco shelled out $105,000 turning itself into Gotham for the now-famous Batkid, who captured national attention last Friday as the Leukemia stricken-boy whose one wish was to be a super hero.

Most of the money was spent renting a sound-system, video screens, and other last-minute equipment rentals to accommodate the massive crowd that gathered at City Hall to watch Batkid, AKA Miles Scott, receive a chocolate key to the city, the Associated Press reports. The city hopes to recoup some of the costs from private donations. A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said that costs would have been even higher if many vendors hadn’t donated their services.

The Make-a-Wish foundation organized the event for little five-year-old Miles, and even Christian Bale of Dark Knight fame said he was touched.

You’d think Batkid could have used some of the money from thwarting the Riddler’s bank heist. But no, he would never.

20 comments
maddy
maddy

To all you negative people. As it turned out The Goldman Family gave back to SF the $ 105,000.00  So not cost was incurred by this WONDERFUL DAY!!!

ydnew
ydnew

I realize that money was spent on one child and one event that could have benefited many. I normally think of this in everything, what would be better distributed more fairly, what don't I need, what could we all live without so others might live in health and happiness? Sometimes, often, I fail at this, but the thought does not leave me, how to live with less and be more generous. If we are going to ask ourselves how this 105K would have been better spent, why don't we always ask this, of everything and everyone? At every party, event, purchase, every movie you go see, everything we do or buy that is not for the survival and health of everyone. There are people and animals dying and suffering, the environment, loneliness, a world full of calamities and complex issues - every time we buy a luxury we don't need it is money that could have gone to a cause. All of our spare time and energy is needed all over the world. 

Where do you personally draw the line?

You could go from the moment you open your eyes every morning till you sleep every night devoting yourself to fixing the world for all that live in it. But would you ever stop to celebrate? How much do you allow yourself to relax, replenish, enjoy, share good times and comfort with friends and family, allow yourself a treat? How much do you judge others when they are having fun or splurging? When does it stop being ok?

I think this event stood out to criticism because it was unique in ground swell and cooperation - it wasn't planned so much and people want a vote on whether it should have happened. People watch and wonder where is that cooperation and effort in the lonely hour of a child dying, no one knowing. And you can think beyond cancer, to every kind of suffering - what about all living things that suffer terribly, how can we have any happiness with so much suffering?

It is human nature to be inspired by unique moments in time, such as this was. To feel devoted to a cause only fleetingly. I say, feel free to disparage human nature in it's flightiness, but don't disparage joy even if it's fleeting, even if the lasting effects are unknown. A young woman may have decided to herself she will become a doctor or nurse to save lives. A young man may have decided to become an activist for health. Or maybe nothing lasting transpired except a memory. Best not bemoan what happened and instead, vote with our money, time and intention. You can't control other people, you can only show them possibilities from what you do, actions. Perhaps we should all forgo our collective hoarding of wealth (compared to the standards of much of the world) and give all that we don't need to those who do. Maybe before we throw a stone we should look to ourselves. 

TheRaisinGirl
TheRaisinGirl

@Novatan Unlikely, considering the article made no mention of any money raised, only the money spent, and actually said the city is hoping to recoup the costs from private donations. I'm sorry, but you crying tears of joy in your cubicle is not more important than the City of SF and the Make A Wish foundation having enough of a sense of proportion to know that 105K is better spent actually treating leukemia.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Can't tell if Charlotte was pleased or sad at what happened ?

Novatan
Novatan

Who can I send a donation to? Batkid gave us a day full of hope, admiration, suspense, bonding, tears, cheers and smiles. There was an amazing sense of togetherness and I'll never forget the day. If everyone who agrees with me sent in $1.00 there would be enough left over to Make a Wish come true for thousands of other kids. $100K is nothing for what this achieved for the Bay Area and beyond.

MichaelW.Perry
MichaelW.Perry

I spent two years caring for children and teens with leukemia at one of the country's top children's hospitals. As soon as I heard about this 'Batkid caper' I thought, "Not good. Not good at all,"

It's not the money, although this $105K could cover most of the cost of a bone marrow transplant for a child who'd otherwise die. It's all the effort that went into it and the publicity that surrounded it. While commendable, it has a most unfortunate result.

The sad fact is that leukemia is the most common of childhood cancers. Are those who organized this event willing to repeat it or something like it every single week? Even that would not begin to handle the number of kids with leukemia, much less the other cancers. Are they willing to tell these other children, "Sorry, kid. We did that just once so we could feel good about ourselves. We don't really want to do this all the time." In effect, that's what is going to happen.

Yes, this big event made one little boy feel very special. That was good in itself. But it also raised the bar for what other little kids might think is required to make them feel special. If they're not given this super-treatment--if they just get the now rather ordinary Make a Wish visit to Disneyland--some are going to feel far from special. That's what upset me. Childhood cancer is terrible enough. That has the potential to make it worse.

--Michael W. Perry, author of My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

I'm OK with a tiny % of my municipal tax money going to events like this. And I understand that some would be against it. Let the city council hash it out.

FlintSkinny
FlintSkinny

The Giants victory parade cost San Francisco about $225k, and a very limited population cared enough to enjoy it. The entire country was able to benefit from BatKid's day on the town. Yes, it's a lot of money, but it's money well spent to encourage a nation.

DrG
DrG

Many people believe the publicity was worth the money spent, and that Make-A-Wish will reimburse the City for most of the expenses, which is then okay with me. The whole event came across as a real-live holiday movie. If the City doesn't get reimbursed, I would like to know how many children who go hungry every day could have been fed with this money.

McLovin1019
McLovin1019

And now the backlash of the most heart warming story ever. I think people forget how expensive things are. 

sparklesthepony
sparklesthepony

@TheRaisinGirl except this event probably resulted in a significant increase in both awareness and donations. get off your high horse.

pellaaranion
pellaaranion

@Novatan  Please englighten us as to what exactly this achieved. Try to make it be something observable and tangible and not just about how warms our hearts allegedly all are now.

And that sense of togetherness was just a passing illusion. Like the sense of togetherness you might get collectively cheering for an olympic team or being at some Grateful dead show. It was forgotten the week after. No one is in anything together. As kids with leukemia are reminded everyday i'm sure. Or the homeless guy down the street. It was all indecent, expensive sentimentality that doesn't buy anything or help anyone.

pellaaranion
pellaaranion

@MichaelW.Perry 


YES. Thank you. I posted something similar on another site when the story came out and i got blasted.

ClintonWeir
ClintonWeir

@MichaelW.Perry  I know what you mean.  Now all those cancer patients are going to die *AND* get a lousy wish.

Novatan
Novatan

@MichaelW.Perry It was way beyond making one boy "feel special", and it shouldn't take much thought to figure that out.  it made thousands of us in the Bay Area (and beyond) feel a sense of pride, hope and togetherness that doesn't come around too often. I don't sit in my cubicle at work crying tears of joy and cheering out loud very often, if ever. I'm sure Batkid's adventures raised a lot of money for leukemia awareness, the Make-a-wish foundation and local businesses.

pellaaranion
pellaaranion

@FlintSkinny 

How did i benefit from this again? Encourage a nation to what? Care about kids with leukemia? I'd think they do already. This was just a giant lets make ourselves feel better fest. Now that we've done this, let's go back to our lives and not care about kids with leukemia until one close to us is affected. Sorry this whole thing just makes me sick. It's so indecently american too... If the idea is that every kid is special, then fine, let's do it for every kid then.  Personally if i'd survived Leukemia i'd have rather they put 105 000$ into my account for my future education which i will now get to enjoy. You know what would have given me more hope in mankind? Giving 25 000$ to four random homeless people. But wait, what have they done to deserve this? They didnt survive leukemia and probably only have themselves to blame for being on the street. All this did is reinforce my belief that us americans are the most grossly indecent vulgar, spectactle loving wasteful people on earth. Good job, really encouraging.

ddziuban
ddziuban

@DrG You cant save/feed everyone, but making a difference in one childs future is a well played investment. 

TheRaisinGirl
TheRaisinGirl

@ddziuban @DrG So your logic is that 105K can't feed every hungry child, so instead we should ignore the number of hungry children it COULD feed and give one kid a single really awesome day (that actually will not have a massive impact on his future, other than to be a really nice memory). You know what else we can't do? Make every kid Batman for a day. But how many kids could that much money feed for a year, I wonder? More than one, I'll bet.

pellaaranion
pellaaranion

@TheRaisinGirl @ddziuban @DrG 


Yes. Thank you for being another person who doesn't get bogged down in sentimentality and is not blind to how absolutely unreasonable this whole thing was.