THOUSAND OAKS, Calif — Since signing with the Dodgers before the 2014 season, Justin Turner has become a staple in the community of Los Angeles for the time and money he invests into those that need it.
On Monday, the Justin Turner Foundation took over Sherwood Country Club for the 3rd annual Justin Turner Golf Classic that benefits children battling illnesses and diseases, along with the LA Dream Center’s veterans program, which assists military veterans as they transition back to civilian life.
The event has grown in number each year and was completely packed with athletes and celebrities willing to help the cause. James Worthy, Wayne Gretzky, Eric Dickerson, Orel Hershiser, actor Jaleel White and golfer Dustin Johnson were among 148 entries.
Several in attendance couldn’t wait to get a look at Johnson on the course.
Proceeds from the day also went to 17 Strong, a non-profit that was put into place to honor of Ryan Teixeira, a former standout baseball player at Arroyo Grande High School that passed away on March 4, 2017 at 20 years old.
He had been diagnosed with leukemia eight months after his final round of chemotherapy stemming from an initial cancer diagnosis.
One of the primary goals of 17 Strong is to help “young adults who have suffered the trauma of catastrophic illness” by planning and funding “Victory Trips,” designed to give a recovering patient an opportunity to experience a time of recuperation doing something they have dreamed of.
“To see how much this event has grown in just three years has been amazing to us,” said Kourtney Turner. “Sponsors have been reaching out to us wanting to get involved after they heard what we’re doing in the community. They want to be a part of it and it’s incredible to us.”
Monday was the first time in the three years that Turner himself has actually played in the event. The Dodger third baseman was anxiously awaiting his chance to play while he and his wife personally put together gift bags in their garage Sunday night.
Turner was paired up on a team with former/current/future teammate Chase Utley, while Austin Barnes, Joc Pederson, Trayce Thompson, Chris Taylor and Adrian Gonzalez showed out to lend their support.
“It’s really nice to have these guys out here,” Turner said of the Dodgers in attendance. “We all understand the impact and the platform we have to do as much as we can. It’s important.”
If you want to get involved with what the Justin Turner Foundation is doing, head to justinturnerfoundation.com to find out how you can help. The next event is the LA Marathon and you can run with Turner’s team, setting up a fundraiser page at runwithjtf.com to be a part of the festivities.