SUDBURY – Two Manitoulin Island men, who now live in Sudbury, participated in the Superheroes for Little Heroes event at Health Sciences North this past Sunday.
“It was awesome,” said Kyle Chandler, a member of the Greater Sudbury Police Services Tactical Unit (GSPSTU) Explosive Disposal Unit told the Recorder Sunday following the event. “The weather was perfect.” He, along with Island expat and fellow GSPSTU member Brett Burnett, took part.
“We look forward to this event every year,” said Mr. Chandler, a tactical unit team leader, explosive technician, sniper and firearms armourer and instructor with the unit. Mr. Burnett is a sniper and firearms armourer and instructor with the GSPSTU.
Members of the GSPSTU returned for the annual Superheroes for Little Heroes fundraiser in support of the NEO Kids Foundation. Mr. Chandler played the role of Venom, while Mr. Burnett played the role of Thor.
“We don’t know at this point how much was raised but there was a very good turnout,” Mr. Chandler told the Recorder.
On October 20 at 11 am officers rappelled down the south and centre tower of Health Sciences North dressed as superheroes to surprise patients in the pediatric unit and newborn intensive care unit, before greeting the little heroes waiting below.
Members of the community were invited to watch the event outside the south tower entrance of HSN, and after enjoy family-friendly activities such as superhero cape decorating, face painting, and pumpkin decorating everyone was encouraged to “help save the day” by purchasing a $10 foot of rope (with all proceeds directly supporting the NEO Kids Foundation).
Mr. Chandler pointed out, “policing has become a difficult career to navigate as far as community perception. Social media polarizes the negative behaviour of some officers and it’s easy for the public to lose trust.” However, “policing is full of amazing people who truly care about their community’s safety and well being. The NEO Kids Super Heroes for Little Heroes is an opportunity for police officers to participate in a positive community event. As police officers, we are no strangers to tragedy. An individual may have a tragic, traumatic event happen in their life, while as officers we are routinely exposed to these events.”
“While it is tragic that kids are dealing with such serious health concerns, it’s a remarkable feeling to bring a smile to their face,” said Mr. Chandler. “I truly can’t explain what I can only assume is the mutual joy felt by the officers and the kids involved.”