Man Continues Giving Back Tradition at Children's Hospital

Man Continues Giving Back Tradition at Children's Hospital

PEORIA - For seventeen years, Bill Turney has been dressing up as Santa Claus and going to visit children in the hospital.
PEORIA - For seventeen years, Bill Turney has been dressing up as Santa Claus and going to visit children in the hospital.

"My heart goes out to every child and every family in here," said Turney.

As he walks the halls, he carries gifts to the children who've spent days in bed.

"I do this because it's my passion. I love this. I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas," said Turney.

But this toy room would have been a lot less full this year, if it wasn't for some last minute donations. Instead, there were plenty of gifts to go around.

"He gave me that and this," said five year old Sadie Schindler of East Peoria.

Some of the treats were enormous.

"Surprised. I was not expecting such a nice gift. It was amazing," said Rebekah Kaufmann of Bloomington.

And then, there's 15-year-old Emma Hanlin. She's been here since Thursday, when she had surgery to remove part of her skull and a vertebra.

A big Bears fan, Hanlin was shocked to get this player-signed football.

"I really liked what he brought me. It really meant a lot to me and my family, knowing that people still care about you," said Emma Hanlin.

"You watch movies and you hear stories about being home for Christmas, and this and that, and we've always taken it for granted. But this year, we had a little bump in the road, but we're going to get there," said Mark Hanlin.

And this Santa's already on his way.

"I think he's home now," said Sadie Schindler.

Santa also stopped by the Methodist and Pekin hospitals.

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