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Get to Know…Susan Farris with The Crystal Charity Ball

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Please explain The Crystal Charity Ball’s mission and how you got involved with the organization.

Since 1952, the sole purpose of The Crystal Charity Ball has been to aid, support, and make contributions to children’s charities in Dallas County. Each year, through extensive research, we select non-profit agencies to partner with to help raise funds for new and expanding programs that benefit children in Dallas County.

I have always had a passion for helping others, particularly children, and I became involved with organizations that benefit underserved children in our community. I have been a member of Crystal Charity Ball since 2009 and am honored to lead this outstanding organization of 100 women who make a difference in the lives of many children in Dallas County each year.

 

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois, and attended college at SMU, where I met my husband, John. After graduation, I made Dallas my new hometown. I taught art at elementary and high school levels before retiring to raise our son and two daughters. I began volunteering in their schools and, after they graduated from high school, became an active volunteer and fundraiser full time. We have three beautiful granddaughters in Charlotte, North Carolina, who I try to visit as often as possible!

 

What makes The Crystal Charity Ball so special and impactful to the Dallas community?

This year, The Crystal Charity Ball is celebrating our 70th anniversary of serving children in the community. As a non-profit organization, independent of any national affiliation, committee members have distributed more than $165 million to 152 worthy beneficiaries in Dallas County over 70 years.

The 100 active members of Crystal Charity spend countless hours each year fundraising on behalf of our annual beneficiary agencies. Our donors know we have thoroughly vetted each project through our charity selection process. After raising funds, we place a Crystal Charity member on the board of every organization we support to oversee the funds that have been distributed.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a part of The Crystal Charity Ball organization?

I am honored to be a part of an organization of 100 dynamic women who are all veterans in the Dallas philanthropic community. These women work each year tirelessly on behalf of our community’s children by helping Crystal Charity meet our annual commitment to our beneficiaries. I have enjoyed serving on many different committees within the organization, which has allowed me to witness firsthand the dedication and giving spirit of our members.

Our unique and thorough charity selection process enables us to learn about our city’s many outstanding non-profit agencies and the difference they are making in children’s lives. Many of our members become passionate volunteers and later serve on the boards of these agencies after hearing their impactful stories during the charity selection process.

 

How does support from community partners like Highland Park Village help The Crystal Charity Ball have a greater impact?

Each year, The Crystal Charity Ball and Highland Park Village partner to raise awareness for our beneficiaries. Endorsements from philanthropic community partners like Highland Park Village strengthens and broadens our outreach and enables us to have a greater impact. We are very fortunate to be among the many non-profits that Highland Park Village supports each year. Many Village retailers donate to our silent auction, a huge bonus for us to receive such luxurious and special items to help with our fundraising.

 

What are some ways people in North Texas can get involved with The Crystal Charity Ball?

In 2022, Crystal Charity Ball Committee has committed to raising $7,180,555 to support eight outstanding beneficiary agencies that will give children hope for a healthier, more productive future. We depend on the generous spirit of Underwriters, Children’s Book participants, Silent Auction and Special Gift donors, and Contribution Ticket patrons to help us reach this commitment to our beneficiaries. All of this information on how to give can be found on our website: www.crystalcharityball.org.

The 2022 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries are:

  • The Agape Clinic
  • Baylor Oral Health Foundation
  • Behind Every Door
  • Educational First Steps
  • Family Compass
  • Hope Supply Co.
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation
  • United to Learn

 

Lastly, where would we most likely find you in Highland Park Village?

There is nowhere else like Highland Park Village to shop and dine at any time of the year, but the holiday season is my favorite time to visit. Nighttime at the Village during the holidays with thousands of white lights is a stunning backdrop for strolling, dining and shopping. I will visit multiple times during the season with family and friends to enjoy the ambiance of the Village and get into the Christmas spirit!

 

Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.

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