Children’s ‘Wish Lounge’ Opens at JWA

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Orange County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Michelle Steel (second from left), Make‑A‑Wish OCIE President and CEO Stephanie McCormick (center), and Make‑A‑Wish Board members officially welcomed guests to the Wish Lounge at John Wayne Airport with a ribbon-cutting event on Aug. 19.
— Photo courtesy JWA ©

John Wayne Airport and Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire debuted the first-ever North American airport children’s “Wish Lounge,” JWA officials announced in an Aug. 20 statement.

The Wish Lounge is a children’s play area with child-sized tables and chairs where kids can enjoy coloring activities, reading books, playing games and taking photos at a “selfie-station” equipped with photo props and a giant teddy bear, according to the press release.

“We are humbled by the generosity of John Wayne Airport and Facility Services in partnering to create this Wish Lounge,” President and CEO of Make-A-Wish OCIE Stephanie McCormick said in a prepared statement. “By visiting the Wish Lounge, we hope that travelers will learn more about Make-A-Wish and experience the creativity, inspiration and joy our wish children often feel during their wish interviews.”

The children’s “Wish Lounge” at John Wayne Airport.
— Photo courtesy JWA ©

It will “provide a fun and comfortable space for our youngest travelers,” Airport Director Barry Rondinella added.

“The children’s play area is one of many experiences throughout the Airport Terminal that help to elevate the guest experience,” Rondinella said in the announcement.

The Wish Lounge is located in an enclosed area adjacent to the nursing mother’s lounge in terminal B (post-security) between gates 11 and 12, near the restrooms and provides easy access to nearby food concessions. Furniture for the Wish Lounge was generously donated by facility services, an office furniture and space planning company based out of Newport Beach.

Established through a partnership with Make-A-Wish OCIE, the Wish Lounge is part of the month-long “Trips that Transform” campaign to help grant travel wishes to children through the donation of unused, low balance or soon-to-expire American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest or United airline miles. Once donated, airline miles never expire.

“This very special addition to John Wayne Airport represents a wonderful partnership,” Orange County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Michelle Steel said in the prepared statement. “Make-A-Wish Foundation creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. This Wish Lounge will not only be open to those precious children but to all children traveling through John Wayne Airport.”

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