Charity Ball Association Holds Annual Gala
By Ellie Leeper
Photography By Greg Harrison
Society patrons had a ball, literally, this fall in San Antonio at the annual Charity Ball Association Gala. As you know, the Chrysanthemum Ball is one of San Antonio’s grandest fundraising efforts that raises funds to donate to an extensive list of children’s charities in San Antonio and Bexar Country every year. The Charity Ball Association was founded as a purely female volunteer organization in 1954 and since then the organization has granted over $13 million to 236 children’s charities in San Antonio and Bexar County. Unique to the Charity Ball Association, one hundred percent of the proceeds from the organization’s fundraising efforts are donated, as the organization currently remains entirely volunteer-based. Last year alone, The Charity Ball Association donated over $900,000 to 29 charities in San Antonio and Bexar County and Heather Wolff is the 2012 Association President.
This year’s Charity Ball was very special in the history of the event, due to an incredibly substantial gift that created the new category of Diamond Chrysanthemum Patron for the Association. A gift entitled, “In loving memory of the generous and wonderful spirit of Kittie Nelson Ferguson” was donated to the Association from Ferguson’s daughter, Kittie West. Upon the presentation of the gift, West stated that this year’s donation was to cover the expense of the entire evening, in memory of her beloved mother and past President of the Charity Ball Association, Mrs. Kitty Nelson Ferguson.
The Chrysanthemum Ball was held at the Villita Assembly Hall in downtown San Antonio. Several local philanthropic families aided in the additional support of the Association’s efforts this year. Mr. and Mrs. Rod Lewis, The Mays Family, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Cadwallader, and Mr. and Mrs. James Gorman were among the Silver and Chrysanthemum Patrons. The evening was nothing short of magical and vibrant. Ladies donned fabulous floor-length gowns as they floated throughout the function while other guests enjoyed their cocktails as they Cha-Cha’d to the Marimba beats of the Hot Sauce Trio. The dance floor was imprinted with a chrysanthemum that hung a hefty halo with over 4,000 flowers of lavender and bright pink chrysanthemums, creating a fully floral feel to the evening. It was an evening to remember until it is surpassed, once again, with next year’s gala.