6th Annual Carousel of Possible Dreams Raises $100,000 for Four Children’s Charities

Hosted by Festival of Children Foundation and the Sanfilippo Family at the Family Estate in Barrington Hills, Fundraiser Helps Fund Specific Needs of the Marklund Wasmond Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities – CNI, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and CureDuchenne


BARRINGTON HILLS, Ill. And COSTA MESA, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2017) – The 6th Annual Carousel of Possible Dreams—Chicago has raised $100,000 to help fund the specific individual needs, or dreams, of four children’s charities, including the Marklund Wasmond Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and CureDuchenne. Created and produced by Festival of Children Foundation in partnership with the Sanfilippo Foundation, the event was held at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills, Illinois, on the evening of Saturday, August 12, 2017. More than 200 guests attended the event, which was sponsored by Karma Automotive Burr Ridge and featured entertainment, estate tours and a cocktail reception.


The event is quite unique as it serves as central fundraising effort to amplify and optimize fundraising efforts for each charity. Following six weeks of peer-to-peer fundraising, local civic, business and philanthropic leaders representing each charity climbed aboard the “Eden Palais,” a spectacular 19th century, European Salon carousel meticulously restored by the Sanfilippo family. As they rode the carousel up to 50 times around each, guests pledged donations to help the charities reach or surpass their individual fundraising goals. “We are tremendously grateful for the support of the Sanfilippo family to make this fundraiser magical and successful,” said Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder and executive director, Festival of Children Foundation. “Each of these four charities is exceptional in how they provide love, care and a hopeful future to so many children. We are honored to support them in this way.”


Festival of Children Foundation (FOCF) is a national nonprofit organization based in Costa Mesa, Calif., which brings together and coordinates the efforts of charities, companies and individuals that actively work to improve the lives of children across America. Launched seven years ago, the Carousel of Possible Dreams initiative now has raised approximately $3.4 million for 136 innovative children’s programs, which otherwise may never have been funded. Additional Carousel of Possible Dreams events have been held at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California; Central Park in New York City; Griffith Park in Los Angeles; and, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Next year, FOCF will partner with Global Genes, a leading rare disease advocacy organization, to host the first RARE Carousel of Possible Dreams in San Francisco on World Rare Disease Day, February 28, 2018.


This year, at the event in Chicago, four participating charities and their “dreams” included:

  • Marklund Wasmond Center: A new wheelchair-adapted bus with a lift and special seatbelt system for wheelchairs.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana: To provide 2,500 nights at their Houses to families in their greatest time of need.
  • Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation: To support research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in the area of targeted therapies for pediatric malignant glioma, which have the highest mortality rate among children with the disease.
  • CureDuchenne: To fund the next critical phase of research for a potentially life-altering therapy known as Duplication-2 by Dr. Kevin Flanigan of Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and move it human clinical trials as soon as possible. has developed a potential treatment for a mutation known as Duplication-2.


During the past five years, more than $1.1 million has been raised at The Carousel of Possible Dreams – Chicago resulting in:

  • 1,000 hours of early intervention therapy for children with special needs at Easter Seals
  • 100 rounds of chemotherapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • 3 Houses improved for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana
  • 20 new beds, 12 mechanical lifts, and new medical air system for Little Angels Center for Exceptional Care
  • 50 portable Diaper Drive Kits for the National Diaper Bank Network
  • 1,000 clinical speech and language therapy sessions at Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center


About Festival of Children Foundation

Festival of Children Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves to bring together and coordinate the efforts of charities, companies and individuals who work to
improve the lives of children. 100% of the administrative costs are covered by designated funding, allowing donations to go further in direct support of programs and services that
improve the lives of children nationwide. For more information please visit www.festivalofchildren.org.


Contact: Cassady Taylor
Festival of Children Foundation
(714) 438 – 3205


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