Superheroes bring super smiles to pediatric patients at KGH

Not something you see every day: superheroes of Elite Window Cleaning cross King Street East in front of Kingston General Hospital (KGH), ready to rappel down the side of the building and bring some superpowered fun and joy to the kids in the pediatric unit. Photo by Daniel Tastard Homer/Kingstonist.

Once a year, the superheroes of the universe come together in Kingston, Ontario, with one mission: to bring smiles to the faces of the youngest patients in Kingston General Hospital (KGH). The clean windows they leave behind? That’s just a bonus.

The finer details are shrouded in mystery, but apparently every year Elite Window Cleaning calls in a favour from their friends with superpowers and capes, an assignment that brings some of the world’s most famous superheroes to the waterfront of Kingston. The team and the staff of Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) — the health care organization that oversees a number of hospitals and clinics, including KGH and Hotel Dieu — meet in a secret lair, where they work out an intricate plan to perform an epic rappel down the outside wall of KGH by the windows of the pediatric ward. There, while scrubbing and squeegeeing the glass that separates them and their new friends, Spider-Man, Batman, the Mandalorian, and their comrades interact with the kids who call the hospital home for now while their medical needs are being tended to.

This year, Superhero Day took place today, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023.

While many people think of the frontline health-care workers as the heroes at the hospital, those workers admit there is nothing quite like Superhero Day at KGH to give a child who’s battling illness a taste of the joy of being an ordinary kid.

“Our people have been counting down the days until Superhero Day,” confessed Erika Kooi, Manager of Pediatrics, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), and Child Life Services for KHSC.

“We look forward to it every year. It’s a huge morale boost for our young patients and goes a long way to ease the stress they may be feeling during their hospital stay.”

But it’s not just the smallest patients at KGH who find themselves smiling and laughing as window cleaning superheroes spend far longer than they probably need to polishing that glass to a mirror-like shine. For passersby, event organizers, and the window cleaners themselves, Superhero Day is highly anticipated each summer in the Limestone City.

“Seeing the amazement in the kids’ eyes and how they forget about their current situation makes what we are doing so worthwhile and keeps us coming back year, after year,” said Chris Stoness, Owner and CEO of Elite Window Cleaning.

And while the superheroes of course had to leave after every window was gleaming and every smile beaming, they left behind the most super power of all: the ability to take a moment and make someone’s day brighter. Now they return to their respective hideaways and headquarters to take up their regular superhero duties — until they are called on again by KHSC and Elite Window Cleaners for their annual Kingston assignment.

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