Crystal Charity Ball Celebrates 70th Anniversary

The Crystal Charity Ball will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a Splendido Italiano-themed gala. 

Members of The Crystal Charity Ball Committee have distributed more than $165 million to 152 children’s charities in Dallas County over the past 69 years.

This year, to commemorate its 70th anniversary, if the ball raises more than the approximately $7 million commitment to the eight beneficiaries chosen this year, donations also will go to the 70th-anniversary project, chair Susan Farris said.

The Action Before Crisis project, a collaboration between Children’s Health and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, would help facilitate early identification and treatment of mental health issues in children.

“It’s a big ambitious project that they are collaborating on, and so we have agreed over five years to donate to that project if we are successful and raise funds above what our annual commitment to our beneficiaries [is],” Farris said. 

The eight beneficiaries for 2022 are Agape Clinic (a first-time beneficiary), Baylor Oral Health Foundation, Behind Every Door (another first-time beneficiary), Educational First Steps, Family Compass, Hope Supply Co., Southwestern Medical Foundation, and, also new this year, United to Learn.

“It’s always exciting because once [organizations are selected as a] Crystal Charity Ball beneficiary, it creates awareness in the community,” Farris said of the new beneficiaries.

Silent auction items will also be available to bid on online as well for the second time this year for supporters who don’t attend the ball in person.

Farris, who served as underwriting chair, auction chair, charity selections chair, and various other jobs since getting involved with Crystal Charity in 2009, said the Italian theme is a nod to her heritage. It’s the first time the grand gala has had an Italian theme since 2008. 

“I always knew if I was going to chair Crystal Charity that it would be an Italian theme because I’m 51% Italian. Both my grandmother and my grandfather immigrated from Italy in the late 1800s, so it’s just always been a special country for me,” Farris said. “Splendido Italiano means we will be featuring at the ball different regions of Italy.”

“It should be a beautiful, fun, and tasty ball because … there’s just so much good food in Italy. We’ll feature that, we’ll feature a lot of the things that are recognizable in Italy as far as the decorations and the flowers,” she continued.

She said Le Louvre Antiques in the Design District in Dallas is loaning pieces for the first time, including statuaries, to help bring the theme to life. 

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at

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