Festival of Children Kicks Off in Style

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Festival of Children Founder and President Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Wing Lam, a member of the Foundation board.
75 Festival of Children member organizations were recognized
during the event.
Sherri Bell and Mark Lowry from Orange County Food Bank.

It was a beautiful, warm evening last Thursday for the Festival of Children Foundation’s Opening Night Party under the stars at South Coast Plaza’s Garden Terrace. The event was held in conjunction with National Child Awareness Month, which runs through September.

The crowd of more than 420 guests was dotted with Newport Beach and Orange County political dignitaries, business and community leaders, and representatives from more than 75 children’s charities, all member organizations of Festival of Children Foundation.

Guests enjoyed a sumptuous summer spread and live musical entertainment throughout the evening, was highlighted by the presentation of the Foundation’s annual FRED Award (For Really Extraordinary Do’ers).

The award was given to Yash Gupta, a 15-year-old high school junior from Irvine, for the outstanding work he has done through his nonprofit, Sight Learning, which provides eyewear to those who can’t afford it otherwise.

Gupta was unable to accept the award in person, as he was in India organizing an eye exam clinic, but sent an acceptance email which was read by Sandy Segerstrom Daniels. He wrote, “I would like to thank the Festival of Children Foundation for honoring me with the FRED Award. I am extremely humbled and honored. Giving back is extremely fulfilling. Seeing the joy and emotion of the people you are helping is truly inspiring, and keeps me motivated to continue to help as many people as I can.”

The opening night party kicked off the month-long Festival of Children, a community-wide charity outreach event, held in conjunction with National Child Awareness Month, every weekend in September at South Coast Plaza.

Festival of Children Foundation was instrumental in getting September 2012 federally recognized as National Child Awareness Month (NCAM) for the fifth consecutive year. NCAM is meant to raise awareness for all children’s charities nationwide.

For more information, visit festivalofchildren.org

Special to the Indy from OCSocialScene.com

 Photos by Carla Rhea

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