Local superheroes collecting toys for children hospitalized over the holidays are (from left) Jason Andrew, Brian Kuratko, David Hill, Rebecca Lenninger, Alex Gallegos, Stephanie Wilson-Muniz and Jeff Malas. | PROVIDED

“Here I come to save the day!” Sounds like Mighty Mouse but it isn’t. Saving the day are a group of local residents who want to bring holiday smiles and toys to children who will be spending Christmas in the hospital.

Known as the Tri-County Heroes United they are Batman (Brian Kuratko), Superman (Alex Gallegos), Wonder Woman (Stephanie Wilson-Muniz), Captain America (Jeff Malas), Spiderman (Jason Andrew) and Santa Claus (David Hull). 

The group was formed after Brian Kuratko learned of the work that the Tri County Police Association was doing to help children. It was then Kuratko and Gallegos decided to found their own little group of heroes, who have now been in the superhero business for four years.

Last year due to COVID-19, the superheroes were not able to “save the day” so they are eager to get to work this year though still on a limited basis. They will begin collecting toys at P.J. Klem’s restaurant, 8000 Ogden Ave. in Lyons, until Dec. 14. New, unwrapped toys are requested for children of all ages. According to Gallegos, “The more toys we have the more children we can make happy.”

The superheroes are contacting area hospitals to make arrangements to visit the patients. They all agree it is a great feeling when they are able to visit patients who light up when a superhero enters the room and brings them a present. It brightens up the day for the patient and the superheroes.

You can never have enough superheroes, so they are always looking to enlarge their group and increase their efforts to brighten a child’s day. Currently, Christmas is the only time they visit hospitals, but there are plans to have an Easter visit, so there is an opening for an Easter Bunny.

You, too, can be a superhero by bringing a toy to P.J. Klem’s in Lyons to help make the season bright.