2015 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Distributed Record-Breaking $6.5M To 11 Dallas Children’s Non-Profits

There are hundreds of children…no, make that thousands of children…who went to sleep on Tuesday, April 12, never having heard of a gal from Andrews, Texas, by the name of Michal Powell or an organization called Crystal Charity Ball.

That’s just peachy keen for the 2015 CCB Chair Michal and her gall-gal committee of 99. For a little over a year, they made calls, hand delivered contracts and championed the cases for Dallas children to net a record-breaking $6.5M.

Some of that money would go to healthcare, ranging from sexual abuse to hearing and sight challenges. Other funds would assist homeless and hungry kids and those working through the challenges of autism.

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

But on this evening, it was Christmas with Michal and her team including Underwriting chair Tucker Enthoven presenting the real-thing checks to the 11 recipients thanks to host Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew. Among the crowd of more-than-smiley recipients and guests were Dave Woodyard, Ola Fojtasek, Robyn Flatt, Cara French, Sandra Session-Robertson, Bob Sweeney, Elizabeth Gambrell, Tom Turnage, Pam Busbee, Ona Foster, Daffan Nettle, Dr. Tom Campbell, Beth Thoele, Michael Craven, Margaret Hancock, Kimberly Williams, Anne Reeder, Doug Adkins, Tricia George, Tom Black, Mary Martha Pickens, Jan McAuley, Fredye Factor, Pat McEvoy, Vinnie Reuben, Leslie Diers, Mary Clare Finney, Susan Farris, Barbara Stuart and 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter.

Here is a breakdown of how the checks were distributed:

  • Catholic Charities of Dallas — $575,000 for the School Readiness Program
  • Dallas Children’s Theater — $564,400 for Sensory-Friendly Performances and Classes
  • Dallas Life — $546,919 for the Kids Life Program
  • Dallas Services — $646,064 for the Vision for Children Program
  • Family Compass — $600,000 for the Healthy Families Program
  • Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders — $630,000 for The Pediatric Hearing Aid Project
  • H.I.S. BridgeBuilders — $539,450 for the Crossover Athletics Program
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition — $500,000 for the Childcare and Youth Services Center
  • Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers —$500,000 for Ewing’s Sarcoma Pediatric Cancer Research Program
  • North Texas Food Bank — $750,000 for the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation — $459,124 for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

Wanna bet what the first thing the 11 recipients did the next morning? Deliver the checks to their banks, of course. The second thing was to put that money to work.

Hugh McElroy To Head Up Dallas Lighthouse For The Blind

In the past couple of weeks the leaves have been turning from green to the most astonishing fall colors. In the weeks ahead there’s just a chance that a winter wonderland of snow-covered neighborhoods will be topped with wispy smoke coming out of chimneys. Inside there will be colorful gifts under Christmas trees and equally bright stockings hung on the mantle.

All those sights are memory makers. Now, close your eyes and think of never seeing a color or image again. That’s what “more than 150,000 individuals who are blind or visually impaired living in the 11 North Texas counties” know all too well.

But they don’t let that hold them back. “More than 50% of those individuals desire, and are capable of, gainful employment and a chance to live a productive and independent life.” Thanks to Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind that opportunity is possible.

With 185 employees who are blind or visually impaired, Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind has been serving the North Texas area since 1931. That’s 84 years of providing “knowledge, training and motivation” for folks with visual impairments.

Hugh McElroy*

Hugh McElroy*

Joining the team is Hugh McElroy as CEO, who “brings more than 20 years of corporate, military and industrial CEO experience along with serving as a board member of numerous nonprofit organization.”

A graduate of Fairfield University, Hugh continued his post-graduate studies at Bridgeport Engineering Institute, Yale University, Duke University and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind Chairman of the Board Michael Martin reported, “Hugh brings a unique blend of broad business acumen, passion for our mission, and strategic thinking to our organization. As a longtime board member for numerous non-profit agencies, Hugh is also an experienced executive who has held senior leadership positions in companies ranging from start-up to large, publicly-traded corporations. His talents are exactly what our organization needs.”

According to Hugh, “When I first toured Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, I knew this was the next career step for me. I recently retired from the corporate world and saw a great opportunity to expand this organization’s services to reach thousands more in our North Texas communities. I am honored to have been chosen to engage my leadership experiences to help Dallas Lighthouse serve as many visually impaired people as possible in North Texas.”

If you still have a couple of dollars left from holiday spending, consider donating to Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. It’s one of those 501(c)(3)’s that doesn’t have a glitzy fundraiser and depends upon the generosity of folks like you.

* Photo provided by Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind