75 Children’s Charities Take Center Stage at 16th Annual Festival of Children® at South Coast Plaza During National Child Awareness Month in September

New This Year: Free Carousel Horse Art Exhibit with Featured Artist Wyland, Famed Marine Life Artist and Children’s Environmental Education Advocate


COSTA MESA, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2017) – Orange County-based, national non-profit Festival of Children Foundation will present the 16th annual Festival of Children®, a high-impact, high energy, month-long event in September at South Coast Plaza, illuminating the important work of 75 local children’s charities, and featuring a multitude of free, family-friendly activities and entertainment. Celebrating National Child Awareness Month, Festival of Children provides the participating charities with free display areas within the popular shopping destination to help educate the local community about the important work they are doing, conduct donor outreach, recruit volunteers, and seek collaborative opportunities with like-minded organizations and individuals. Additionally, each weekend, the Festival offers numerous free activities and entertainment that serve to enrich the lives of local children, such as live music and dance performances, a children’s fashion show, children’s book readings, arts and crafts, animal shows, and more.


New this year is the debut of the Festival of Children Carousel Horse Art Exhibit, showcasing several imaginatively decorated carousel horses designed by both amateur and professional artists, including Wyland, the famed marine life artist and children’s environmental education advocate. The horses will be on public display throughout South Coast Plaza for the entire month of September, and will become a permanent element of the annual event. At the close of the exhibit, many will be auctioned to raise additional funds for the Festival. Corporate sponsorships to date include CHOC Children’s, City National Bank, Experian, the Los Angeles Chargers, Lennar Homes, Mesa Water District, Mitsubishi Electric, Office Solutions, and South Coast Plaza.


“What started as a dream more than 16 years ago to support Orange County’s children’s charities, has blossomed into a grand event that has showcased their important work to more than 30,000,000 people,” said Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder and executive director, Festival of Children Foundation. “By combining that far-reaching community outreach with several weekends of free, family-fun activities and entertainment, we have also accomplished our goal of celebrating National Child Awareness Month. I am delighted to welcome back many of the charities, who have been with us for years, and showcase the work of many new charities that provide such a valuable service for our children.”


This year, Canstruction OC returns to the Festival with nine extraordinary sculptures made entirely of canned food items. Designed and constructed by several local companies, the sculptures are disassembled at the close of the festival and more than 56,000 cans of food are donated to the Orange County Food Bank to help feed the county’s estimated 350,000 people of all ages, who struggle with hunger each day. This year’s teams include: AEOCOM Orange; SVA+PSE; McCarthy Building Companies & Ficcadenti, Waggoner and Castle Structural Engineers; Little; Gensler+CDG; WATG+Oltmans, JSMK, Fuscoe & The New Home Company; Shawmut Design and Construction; and Disneyland Resort Design and Engineering.


Among the many featured activities at this year’s Festival are:


Opening Ceremonies:

Saturday, Sept. 2, 12:00 p.m. – Welcome by Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and featuring Kodi Lee and The Hi-Tops



Every Saturday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – free mini Lego build activities. On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Long Beach LEGO User
Group will offer a demonstration.


Back-to-School Fashions:

Sunday, Sept. 3, 11:30a.m. – a classic fashion show featuring local children of all ages modeling the latest fashions from South Coast Plaza retailers.


Wyland Appearance and Live Art Demonstration:

Sunday, Sept. 10, noon to 2:00 p.m. – Wyland will create one of his iconic, marine life-inspired paintings while educating attendees about the importance of protecting our oceans and overall environmental conservation.


Coffee, Tea, Mommy & Me:

Each Friday in September at 11:00 a.m. – Free educational presentations about home safety, vehicle seat safety, nutrition, water and safety, plus arts and crafts and music. Coffee and tea hosted by Corner Bakery.



Sunday, Sept. 3, 2:30 p.m. – Kids/Adults interactive Zumba class. Various times: Polynesian, Ballet, Contemporary, Ballroom, and Irish dancers, and Eurogymnastics


Arts & Crafts:

Every Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 4:00 p.m. – Free crafts for kids courtesy of: Child Creativity Lab, School for Art, Art4Kids, and Tickled Pink Fact Painting.

For more information about Festival of Children, including a list of the participating charities, activities and entertainment, please visit www.festivalofchildren.org.


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 actively work to improve the lives of children. Festival of Children Foundation gives a voice, guidance and support. 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. festivalofchildren.org.


About National Child Awareness Month

The effort to have September declared as National Child Awareness month began as a local effort in Orange County, California, by Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder and executive director of the national, non-profit Festival of Children Foundation to raise awareness and focus America’s attention on its greatest asset – its children. In September 2002, the Orange County (California) Board of Supervisors unanimously designated September as Child Awareness Month. In September 2003, the State of California declared September as Children Awareness Month. In September 2008, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 644, designating September 2008 as the first National Child Awareness Month. Since then, the U.S. Senate has designated September as National Child Awareness Month with unanimous consent. www.nationalchildawarenessmonth.org


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


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