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Superheroes to visit Galax on Friday

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By Shannon Watkins

Superheroes in a small town? Max Brown, 4, of Galax, is in treatment for leukemia, and his family might tell you there are far more of them than you realize, even if you never see them wearing capes.

This Friday, however, four heroes from comics, cartoons and movies are coming to Galax, in the form of Damon Cole, an officer from Fort Worth, Tex., who dresses up like various superheroes to entertain children who have cancer, all on his own dime.

Cole will be visiting the Galax Volunteer Fire Department’s firehouse on June 24 from noon-4 p.m., and will also be appearing as Optimus Prime from Transformers, Batman and Superman from DC Comics and Captain America from Marvel Comics.

According to Emily Brown, Max’s mom, the family has decided to throw the event not as any kind of fundraiser, but in gratitude to the community. “[There’s] no money or place for donation,” she said. “I feel like here lately everyone has been asked for money at every turn, so this is completely free. No money accepted. All snacks, drinks and activities are free. Pictures with [Cole] are free. My family just needs to do a little something to thank the community for everything they have done for us since Max has gotten sick.”

In addition, said Brown, there will be face painting, snacks, bouncy houses, craft stations and possibly fire truck sprinklers for children to play in during costume changes, which should last about 15 minutes. Superhero shirts are not mandatory for attendees, but are encouraged.

Cole’s schedule is noon-12:45 p.m. as Optimus Prime; 1-1:45 p.m. as Batman; 2-2:45 p.m. as Captain America; and 3-3:45 p.m. as Superman. Any uniformed officers in the Twin Counties are welcome to join a group picture at about 3:45 p.m.; the picture will be posted on Cole’s Facebook page, “Heroes & Cops Against Childhood Cancer.”

The Galax Volunteer Fire Department firehouse is located at 300 West Grayson St. in downtown Galax. For more information about the event, visit www.facebook.com/events/1095444523848767/permalink/1101492793243940/.