The Crowd: One passionate lady about children

This is a story about one woman's passion. Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, created The Festival of Children Foundation some 10 years ago. On Sept. 1 in Costa Mesa, the festival celebrated a milestone anniversary.

Segerstrom Daniels cares about the raising of children. Not just children of privilege, but all children. She often speaks publicly about the importance of providing proper nourishment, health care, educational enrichment programs — especially music, art and cultural opportunities that have been scaled back in public schools because of budget restraints.

But these topics are just the obvious subjects facing parents today. Challenges go deeper.

Segerstrom Daniels, a managing partner of The South Coast Plaza retail-real estate empire, has the means and the connections to make a difference. A decade ago, realizing that her own backyard faced serious problems affecting the lives of Orange County kids in all sectors, she created The Festival of Children Foundation. It aimed to unite some 70 different charitable organizations with divergent goals all focused on assisting children in the community.

By forming a united front, Segerstrom Daniels and many community partners have been able to make a difference in a multitude of areas, ranging from actions as direct and essential as providing food and housing assistance, to rehabilitation and abuse prevention, to legal aid and foster care. Among other things, school meals have been provided, as well as art and music exposure through extracurricular activities.

Some 500 guests converged upon the Garden Terrace at South Coast Plaza to recognize the work of The Festival of Children Foundation. Sponsoring the event, which featured both entertainment and refreshments, were Rutan & Tucker LLP, US Trust, Willis, and the new Omega Boutique at South Coast Plaza.

This weekend and for the next two weekends, The Festival of Children Foundation will hold a community-wide charity outreach event at South Coast Plaza. To learn more, go to for all the details.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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