OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- A children’s gift drive involving costumed comic book characters will be even more meaningful this year.
The family of Wyandotte County Deputy Patrick Rohrer, has been essential to the campaign since its inception and this will be the first outing since he was murdered in the line of duty.
You hear of charitable group shopping trips to get gifts for kids, but this group goes incognito in costumes, dressed as characters from comics and films.
Comics are considered a lot cooler than they used to be, but the die-hards are still a tight group.
“A comic shop is basically a comic shop slash barber shop slash bar where you go and hang out, take your troubles off your mind, buy a few comics…,” said William Binderup, Elite Comics Owner.
They have a cosplay contingent that visits the kids at Children’s Mercy monthly. Then one year...
“…they had one of their sponsors drop out of the toy drive at the last minute and wondered if we could do anything to help them out,” continued Binderup.
That’s when the costume shopping trip started. From the beginning, the wife, kids and in-laws of Patrick Rohrer were part of that mission.
“Him and his family had been to every Planet Comicon,” voiced Binderup.
Rohrer was one of two Wyandotte County Deputies killed outside the courthouse in June while preparing an inmate for transfer.
His Comicon crew stood out along his funeral procession route among thousands of uniformed officers.
“So that his family could see, ‘Hey, There’s Patrick’s comic book friends. They are here too,’” expressed Binderup.
The store is celebrating its 25th year so they’re trying to raise $25,000.
The gifts go to Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Snowflake Shop.
They had a Marvel writer sign a special edition to raise funds last month.
Next week they’re doing something similar with Marvel artist Skottie Young. This event will take place on Wednesday, from 5-8 p.m. at Elite Comics, in Overland Park.
Come shopping day, Rohrer’s father-in-law will play Santa, as usual.
His wife is always Mrs. Claus. Also, on hand will be Supergirl, Elsa, Cinderella, Dr. Strange, Darth Vader and Caption America.
Of course, they’ll be doing something special to honor their real-life hero.
“It’s going to be tough this year. It’s going to be different,” proclaimed Binderup.
He says the costumes bring joy to customers and every year, at least one of them says, “Let me get the tab on that cart.”
If you’d like, you can catch them in action at the Mission Target along Metcalf on Monday the 17th at 7 p.m.