A Jewel of a Fundraiser

The 63rd annual Jewel Charity Ball celebrates the charity’s ‘angels’ — and provides a whole new way to help children.

On December 10th, Fort Worth’s premier gala returns to raise money for the worthiest of causes: the patients of Cook Children’s Medical Center. Held annually since 1953, the 63rd Jewel Charity Ball promises to once again act as a spectacular signifier of thanks to the donors who enable the work of Jewel Charity.

Jewel Charity donors look forward to the black-tie ball as one of the highlights of the year. This year’s event, in addition to its typical celebratory nature, promises to impact children even more through the new Care4Kids Project. In response to donor’s wishes for additional ways to help, Jewel Charity has created an avenue to make special gifts directly to Cook Children’s patients.

For those unfamiliar with the Jewel Charity Ball or its Care4Kids Project, it’s necessary to understand the charity’s mission.

“Jewel Charity was started by two ladies, Billie Bransford Clark and Nenetta Burton Carter, who saw the need for healthcare for children,” says Mary Anne Polson, president of the Jewel Charity Executive Committee. “There was a group of nine or so who got together and planned to raise money for the hospital. Our bylaws and mission, everything goes to support the hospital.”

The first Jewel Charity Ball, held in 1954, raised $9,000 for Fort Worth Children’s Hospital. The hospital itself became Cook Children’s Medical Center after a merger with Cook Children’s Hospital in 1985. This esteemed institution has become one of the premier children’s hospitals in the United States.

“We’ve always stayed true to the fact that we want to support uncompensated care for children,” says Polson. “The board now votes every year for one or two special projects that we can focus on. This year, our two special projects are the new heart center and new Heart and Behavioral Health centers.”

Since that first ball, Jewel Charity has contributed more than $66 million dollars toward the care of patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Staffed and operated fully by volunteers, Jewel Charity seeks out donations from people, businesses, and foundations that care about the health of Fort Worth children. The annual ball provides donors with an opportunity to gather and recognize each other’s work to support a noble enterprise.

“The ball is always a spectacular evening,” says Polson. “Everyone looks forward to it. This year, there’s a band coming in from San Francisco, and another that will play in the cocktail area. The ball’s official jeweler for this year, Eiseman Jewels, will have many lovely pieces for guests to view and buy.”

Jewel Charity Ball invitations are available to guests who have donated at least $2,500 to Jewel Charity in 2016. Jewel Charity’s donors, called “Angels”, will have additional opportunities to support Cook Children’s the night of the event. The ball itself, held at The Fort Worth Club, will emphasize philanthropy and community, while guests enjoy cocktails, a dinner buffet, exquisite décor, dancing, live music, prize raffles, and much more. A new addition to this year’s ball presents a way to directly help individual kids: the Care4Kids Project, which allows guests to buy specific items that go straight to patients.

“This year we’ll also have a focus on four items that go directly back to the hospital,” says Polson. “These are prayer bears, which go to every child who enters the hospital; helmets used to shape children’s heads; special needs camps; and mamaRoo rocker chairs.”

A major component of the celebration comes from the jewels themselves, presented by Eiseman Jewels for sale to attendees. Throughout the evening, guests can appreciate an exquisite range of timepieces and jewelry, with items from numerous collections that include Katie Decker and Seaman Schepps, in addition to Eiseman’s own signature colored stone and important diamonds collection.

Watches will include pieces from numerous fine collections as well, including Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and many more. As with every component of the Jewel Charity Ball, the sale of all these items helps support the children of Cook Children’s Medical Center.

“The jewels provide an excellent opportunity to buy Christmas gifts,” says Polson. “The ball itself promises to be a spectacular evening. We’ll eat and dance, enjoy the occasion and celebrate our angels.”

Registration for this year’s ball closes on December 1st. If you’re unable to attend, you can still make a direct impact on the lives of children thanks to the Care4Kids Project. Donations to the project can be made directly through Jewel Charity’s website. Visit www.jewelcharity.org/care4kids to learn more and view the four items available to purchase for a child in need.