Tulsa businessman donates profits to charity

Friday, July 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

There's a local hero in Tulsa. His name is Batman. He doesn't wear a mask or a cape. But as News on Six reporter Patrina Adger explains he's still a crusader with a mission to help the needy.

Mike Batman came to America from Syria 20 years ago, with little money but big dreams. "I couldn't speak a word of English. I couldn't afford schooling so I watched TV. Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood were good to me."

With no family and friends at the time, he says his first few years in Tulsa were tough. "In our culture they told us not to cry, I cried when I came here." Years of hard work and perseverance brought him his wife Wanda, beautiful children and a successful business.

For the past six years, his convenience store off Pine and Mingo has been a success. And he's sharing that with those less fortunate. Batman's donating 100% percent of his gas profits this month to the Salvation Army. It's a donation he's been proud to make for the past three years.

Wanda Batman: Mike's wife, "Having come from somewhere else, we take for granted."

"I was so impressed when I drove up." Peggy Nail, a regular customer, "It's just a really a blessing to know someone cares from another country and loves America like I love America."

"Something like this really helps us out." Salvation Army area commander says the Army welcomes the generous offering. "Donations have been very slow since September 11th. A lot of money went out of town and then combined with the downturn of the economy."

Batman says he's thankful he's able to give back to a country that gave him opportunities he could only dream about. He hopes his giving will inspire others to do the same. "To do this donate money is better than going on vacation, seriously."

Last year, Batman gave $10,000 to the Salvation Army and other local charities. He says he hopes to raise more this year.