Lost Del Mar’s Finest-Sheila Mc Donnell

This post was written by Valerie on March 22, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes

Sheila McDonnell

I met Sheila Mc Donnell at a Women’s Symposium she held in Del Mar to help women grow and share and become the best that we can be. She and I worked together on a couple of ventures that included another event to help others. She and I shared our experiences about the race track as my Grandfather on my father’s side was a Race Horse Trainer Harry Harrison Philpot and my mother’s uncle was also trained race horses at Del Mar.

Sheila was a rare woman who nurtured others and gave so much of herself. Sheila loved horses and had some awesome stories so it is with sadness that I mention her passing in my blog. Sheila passed away on March 4th, 2012 at her home in Carmel Valley and was 62.

The following is words written by Gini Craig to the members of the GOG (Good Ol’ Gals):

Known for her entrepreneurial qualities and contributions to the community, support of women and passion for people, Sheila was dynamic, never knew a stranger and accomplished.

Born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Sheila moved to Del Mar in 1991. Sheila was a loving mother and beloved wife. A true humanitarian, Sheila celebrated her life to the fullest by being a leader in the community, advocating for women, and helping people realize their goals and self worth. No one was a stranger and she nurtured everyone she met. She was a humble person who placed people first and herself last.

Sheila founded and produced the Women in Business Symposium 13 years ago. She was an active member of the Del Mar Kiwanis for over 17 years. Sheila was the founder of the Ugly Dog Contest 17 years ago, the largest event sponsored by the Del Mar Kiwanis.

Elected president of the Del Mar Chamber of Commerce in 1998, she continued to build the Del Mar chamber and was instrumental in the growth of what is now named the San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce.

Sheila was honored with the “Woman of the Year” award in 2009, given by the San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce.

Sheila was also a Women’s Advocate of the Year finalist, awarded by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Sheila was known foremost for her love and contribution to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for over 22 years. She served in Group Sales and was “The Queen” of the Horsemen’s lounge. She was instrumental in the education and promotion of horse racing. It was in her blood and she was a proud supporter.

Her wit, humor, intelligence and positive attitude will continue to be a role model for all whose lives she touched. Words cannot describe this wonderful human being who gave so much of herself and asked for nothing in return. Our prayers and memories will continue to keep her alive, close to us, and remind us that life is worth living.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to the California Equine Retirement Foundation: California Equine Retirement Foundation (CERF), P.O. Box 295, Temecula, CA 92950, 951-926-4190.


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