While the holidays offer friends and family opportunities to gather together and share laughs, hugs and memories, it can also be a difficult time for those who are less fortunate or facing hardship.
Over the past two weeks Kourtney and Justin Turner again took action to give back to the local community and deliver holiday cheer to those in need. Through the Justin Turner Foundation, the couple helped present the 25th annual Christmas Dreamland at the Los Angeles Dream Center.
Three days later, the Turners hosted their first Winter Wonderland for more than 250 patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. With an assist from event planner extraordinaire Mindy Weiss, the Jane Vruwink Palmer Healing and Play Garden was transformed into a magical venue for patients and their families to enjoy an array of activities and gifts.
“A Winter Wonderland is an idea that Kourt and I had been wanting to do for about four years now,” Turner told DodgerBlue.com.
“It was inspired by a video that we had seen of P.K. Saban doing a Christmas event in Montreal, and we knew that was what we wanted to do for kids in L.A. who were going to be spending their holidays in a hospital.”
View this post on Instagram
Thank you to everyone who has supported the @jtfoundation10. Because of your generosity and support, we had the opportunity to put on a Winter Wonderland for 250+ kids who will be spending their holidays in and out of the hospital. And a very special thank you to everyone who made this event so special: @mindyweiss @adidas @franklinsports @76 @thecoffeebean @design.sound @eventcarpetpros @wearfigs @franklinsports @neweracap @pressedjuicery @revelryeventdesign @vons @wildchildparty @childrensla @clintcarlton @court_with_a_k @tbdmarketing @thatsantaguy @ladreamcenter
The Turners make regular visits to CHLA and were recognized for their generosity this year when the hospital added them — as well as the Justin Turner Foundation — to its prestigious Spotlight Wall.
“CHLA has become a place where we stop by frequently to visit kids, get cleats designed by the kids for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and really just try to help be a positive boost of courage, strength and hope as they are fighting different illnesses and diseases,” Turner said.
“Annie Cornforth has been an amazing point of contact to be able to coordinate room visits, gift giving, and now helping us create our own Winter Wonderland.”
Prior to entering, patients and their families gathered in a waiting area where they would learn the first of several surprises — Kourtney and Justin were on hand to join them. The couple was met with cheers as they addressed each group and greeted every patient.
“Getting to see the kids eyes light up and the smiles on their face as they entered into the Wonderland was worth it all,” Turner said. “The idea was to make them forget where they were at a hospital and let them get lost in the magic of the holidays.”
Inside, characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” an Xbox, Nintendo Switch, photo booth, hot chocolate, face painting and more awaited the children. But perhaps most importantly, a chance to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas.
“The most heartbreaking thing I’ve heard while doing our annual holiday children’s hospital visits was a child asking if Santa would know where to find him to be able to bring him presents,” Kourtney said.
“The idea of kids and their families spending their holiday in the hospital is probably not something people really think about but it is the reality for many. For us to be able to try and brighten their lives, even for a moment, meant everything to us.
“The kids are all so appreciative of every little moment and it just helps to put the entire holiday season into perspective.”
Having created a lasting memory for children, the Turners intend to recreate the event in future years. “We definitely plan on continuing this event and providing another Winter Wonderland for kids who will be staying in the hospital for the holidays next year,” Justin said.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our live shows, and more!