Meet the Founders

Starting Pure Imagination Children's Charity

Atlanta Area Melting Pot Restaurant Owners, Mark and Layla Gunn, are philanthropists at the core. They began their passion for children’s charities through their work with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital more than ten years ago, and after raising more than $300,000 through various fundraisers, the duo decided to create a charity of their own...thus Pure Imagination was born!

Our Partnership with CHoA

The children that raise funds for the Pure Imagination program are generally matched with a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta patient with similar interests – and both children are able to experience an exclusive adventure together through the Pure Imagination program.

Since their partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2011, and through various Pure Imagination Charity and Melting Pot Restaurant fundraisers, Mark and Layla Gunn have also raised and contributed over $225,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

In 2015, Mark and Layla Gunn raised and contributed $25,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to help fund a new therapy dog for 2016. In an effort to continue to bring smiles to patients, the therapy dog will also help ease patients' anxiety and promote shorter recovery times.

In 2014, Mark and Layla Gunn raised and contributed $75,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to help fund multiple projects and equipment at the facility. The donations were used for research and development of an Eye-Tracking Device that can help identify signs of autism in children as young as 12 months and for the CHoA Telemedicine program.

The Eye-Tracking Device creates the potential to move diagnosis from a subjective screening measure to a quantitative test that can significantly enhance the positive impact of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Click here for more info on the Eye-Tracking Device.

The Telemedicine Program is an innovative program that uses a high-speed telecommunications system, advanced technology and specialized medical cameras to connect patients and their caregivers to specialists. Click here for more info on the Telemedicine Program.

In 2014, Pure Imagination Founder, Layla Gunn, was recognized by Georgia Trend magazine for her contributions to the community and honored with Georgia’s “40 Under 40 Award”. View the full list of honorees.

In 2013, in appreciation of the Gunns ongoing support and commitment, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta honored Layla by inviting her to serve on Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s advisory board. She is currently an active advisory board member – volunteering her time to consult and assist Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and their fundraising needs.



“I believe it’s important to teach children to be compassionate toward other children in less fortunate circumstances and pay it forward,”
- Layla Gunn, Founder