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COVER STORY
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Sandy Segerstrom Daniels

Founder and Executive Director – Festival of Children Foundation, Costa Mesa

OC METRO's Hot 25 for 2011Published: November 01, 2011

Status: Married with a daughter and two grandchildren
The title of the book you’re reading now: “I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan,” by Nancy Reagan
Hot Factor: Sandy Segerstrom Daniels was behind the effort that led the U.S. Senate to recognize September 2011 as National Child Awareness Month.

Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, a managing partner in the family business running South Coast Plaza, knows that there’s hardly a child in Orange County who hasn’t been on its carousel, the iconic symbol of the world-famous Segerstrom-owned shopping center. So what better place to host many of the events for her Festival of Children Foundation, the arts-supported nonprofit she created 10 years ago to assist local charities that serve children.
   
Segerstrom Daniels had three things going for her when she got into this: strong organizational skills, terrific Segerstrom family support and unbridled enthusiasm.
   
“So many young people in Orange County cannot afford to enjoy places like the Performing Arts Center or South Coast Repertory. So we bring some of those performances to them.”
   
Segerstrom Daniels came up with the idea when she noticed that there were two charities holding golf fundraisers just a week apart. ‘Why can’t they get together for one large event?’ she thought. What Orange County charities needed was better organization, and she knew how to give it to them. Her nonprofit has supported hundreds of charities that have worked with her on events, and the 24 original charities involved are still with her. And here’s a rarity: The nonprofit takes zero dollars for administration. All administrative costs are funded separately.

“My motto is: ‘If you build it, they will come.’”

Editor’s Note: To see who made our “Hot 25” lists in prior years, visit our Archives page.
   
And, we’re now on the hunt for exceptional women who are impacting O.C. If you know someone who deserves to be on our 20 Women to Watch list, please let us know at our Nominate page.