Hometown Hero: Real-life Batman brings smiles to sick kids by displaying exotic cars

Not all heroes wear capes. But when Josh Aryeh visits sick kids, a mask and cape are mandatory.

As the founder of Smiles Through Cars, Aryeh, 35, dons a Batman costume, revs up the engine of an exotic automobile, and criss-crosses Gotham nearly every day — pulling up to the bedsides of children battling life-threatening illnesses or other traumatic situations.

“This is my full-time job. It’s priceless, it really is, when you see these children,” he said.

Aryeh says that several factors came together like “pieces of the puzzle” to lead him to officially start the organization in 2018.

Growing up on Long Island, he’d always had a passion for exotic cars, and used to borrow them from friends in exchange for small errands. But one day about 15 years ago, he realized he could use that enthusiasm for something even more meaningful.

“I said, ‘the same way that I grew up loving these exotic cars, there have to be some sick and underprivileged children that have that same desire,’” he remembers.

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