With her golden lasso by her side, Wonder Woman (aka. Nicky Bassett) greated children attending the 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States.

One by one, she took time share some cheer or pose for pictures with the children taking part in the event on Friday, July 27 in Joplin, Missouri.

At times, it was hard to tell whose smile was bigger - Bassett's or the children - which is just how the Grove woman likes it. 

"When a child smiles, it's one of the most beautiful thing in the world," Bassett said. 

Mighty Heroes

Bassett, a member of the Grove Police Department, was inspired to start "Nicky's Mighty Heroes" after following the antics of police officer who dressed up as a superhero in his off time, to visit sick children.

"I saw the video of him and it inspired ," Bassett said. "I thought well, if he could do it, I can try to do that too."

But after buying her first two costumes, Bassett admits she lost her nerve.

An introvert by nature, Bassett can often be found working behind the scenes in a variety of roles, including the Blessing Box ministry and Be The Change. 

To step out in public, in a visible role, she said, took some additional courage.

Earlier this month, in honor of two important women in her life - friend Carrie Couch and mom Jo Finder - Bassett decided the time was right to begin Nicky's Mighty Heroes.

On July 5, her mother's birthday, Bassett - dressed as Supergirl - traveled to her first outing at Freeman Hospital.

"I wanted to do something to honor her, and do something positive on that day," Bassett said. 

With the help of contacts at the hospital, Bassett visited with a young boy receiving treatment at the facility. She also found herself visiting children at the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, which is part of Freeman Health Systems. 

Bassett said the second stop was meaningful, because her mother worked with special needs children before her death. 

"Especially when it comes to sick kids, if I can make them smile for a moment, and make them happy, it makes me happy," Bassett said. "My goal is to make kids smile and give them hope.

"If I can make them feel like a superhero for the day, even better."

Did You Know?

As part of Nicky's Mighty Heroes, Nicky Bassett has accumulated several costumes to wear while visiting children and adults in need of cheer. 

Her arsenal includes Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, CInderella, as well as an elf and Olaf the snowman from Frozen. 

Bassett initially planned to focus solely on sick children. She's since expanded her stops to include children with special needs, as well as older adults living in local nursing homes. 

For more information, persons interested may contact Bassett through her Facebook page by searching "Nicky's Mighty Heroes."

Behind the smiles

At times on Friday, Nicky Bassett could be seen interacting with a set of 7-month-old twins, Natalie and Emberly Leake from Pineville, Missouri.

The girls, along with their parents, Alyssa and Mike, were among the people who attended Friday's event which also served as a reunion of sorts for those who once stayed at the RMH.

In late November 2017, when she was 33 weeks pregnant, Alyssa Leake was ordered to stay on bed rest.

Because their home was more than 45 minutes from the hospital, officials arranged for Leake to stay at the RMH.

After staying at the home for two weeks, the twins were born at 35 weeks, both weighing over five pounds.

"It was a home away from home," Leake said. "I had rides to the doctor, really anything I needed. [Volunteers] kept me company while [Mike] was at work.

"It was a blessing to have. It was almost like having family here, while my family was 45 minutes to four hours away."

Leake said as the girls get older, she hopes to back, and volunteer as a family at the RMH.

"It would be nice to be able to give back when they gave so much to us," Leake said.