Fort Worth Charity Guide
One Enchanted Evening

Cherished Jewel Charity Ball sparkles as Fort Worth's grandest gala

Cherished Jewel Charity Ball sparkles as Fort Worth's grandest gala

Ryan Campbell, Lou Martin, Natalie Campbell
Ryan Campbell, Lou Martin, Natalie Campbell Photo by Jason Kindig
 JCB Co-chairs Anne Paup, Sally Prater
Jewel Charity Ball co-chairs Anne Paup and Sally Prater Photo by Rhi Lee
Carol & James Dunaway, Christy & Jason Smith
Carol Dunaway, James Dunaway, Christy Smith, Jason Smith Photo by Rhi Lee
Michelle Marlow, Scott Marlow
Jewel Charity president-elect Michelle Marlow, Scott Marlow Photo by Rhi Lee
Olivia & Jeff Kearney
Olivia Kearney, Jeff Kearney Photo by Jason Kindig
Orlando Chapa, Todd Reese
Orlando Chapa, Todd Reese  Photo by Jason Kindig
Lisa & Burch Waldron
Burch Waldron, Lisa Waldron Photo by Jason Kindig
Peggy & Bill  Sims, Lou Martin JCB President
Bill Sims, Peggy Sims, and Jewel Charity Ball president Lou Martin Photo by Jason Kindig
Paige & Neil Randel
Paige Randel, Neil Randel Photo by Rhi Lee
Lara & Jim Newman
Lara Newman, Jim Newman Photo by Jason Kindig
Interactive Mirror Lamps
Interactive Mirror Lamps with Bachendorf's jewelry. Photo by Canon Sawyer
Cheryl & Jerry Conatser
Jerry Conatser, Cheryl Conatser Photo by Rhi Lee
Jewel Charity Ball 2020
Jewel Charity Ball took place at Dickies Arena. Photo by Jason Kindig
Jewel Charity Ball 2020, Powerhouse
Powerhouse band entertains. Photo by Jason Kindig
Tamara & Phillip Burch
Tamara Burch, Phillip Burch Photo by Jason Kindig
Kathy Sneed, Dr. Robert Hames
Dr. Robert Hames, Kathy Sneed Photo by Jason Kindig
Teresa & Jim Hubbard
Teresa Hubbard, Jim Hubbard Photo by Jason Kindig
Mimi & Keith Karnes
Mimi Karnes, Keith Karnes Photo by Jason Kindig
Oleta Thompson
Oleta Thompson Photo by Jason Kindig
Kim Walker, Shary Harmon
Kim Walker, Shary Harmon Photo by Rhi Lee
Dr. Evelyn & Rick Merrill
Rick Merrill, Dr. Evelyn Merrill Photo by Rhi Lee
Ryan Campbell, Lou Martin, Natalie Campbell
 JCB Co-chairs Anne Paup, Sally Prater
Carol & James Dunaway, Christy & Jason Smith
Michelle Marlow, Scott Marlow
Olivia & Jeff Kearney
Orlando Chapa, Todd Reese
Lisa & Burch Waldron
Peggy & Bill  Sims, Lou Martin JCB President
Paige & Neil Randel
Lara & Jim Newman
Interactive Mirror Lamps
Cheryl & Jerry Conatser
Jewel Charity Ball 2020
Jewel Charity Ball 2020, Powerhouse
Tamara & Phillip Burch
Kathy Sneed, Dr. Robert Hames
Teresa & Jim Hubbard
Mimi & Keith Karnes
Oleta Thompson
Kim Walker, Shary Harmon
Dr. Evelyn & Rick Merrill

For generations of Fort Worth philanthropists, Jewel Charity Ball has been the most coveted social invitation of the year.

Co-founded in 1954 by Nenetta Burton Carter (wife of city benefactor Amon G. Carter) as a fundraiser for Cook Children's Medical Center, Jewel Charity has raised more than $73 million in its first 65 years.

It's a powerhouse fundraiser — and also one fabulously fun party.

For its 66th edition, instead of resting on its shimmery laurels, the gala picked up and moved into Dickies Arena — the first black-tie event held at Fort Worth's newest venue.

On February 29, about 1,500 guests donned their billowing ballgowns and dapper tuxes and descended on Dickies for "One Enchanted Evening." To bring the theme to life, Jewel Charity Ball president Lou Martin and ball co-chairs Anne Paup and Sally Prater had the arena transformed into a spectacular floral wonderland.

As they arrived, guests — including Fort Worth notables Sasha and Ed Bass, Carole and James DunawayChristy and Jason SmithOlivia and Jeff KearneyNancy LambPaul DormanHeather and Ryan Senter, Beth and Craig Collins, Kelly and Jeff Dillard, Virginia Clay, Anne and Orlando Carvalho, and Cheryl and Jerry Conatser — mingled, sipped Champagne, and perused raffle and silent auction items.

To say there were spectacular items up for grabs is an understatement. Jewel Charity's official jeweler, Bachendorf’s, set up an on-site store with cases of exclusive sparkling pieces. These included a 63.52-carat aquamarine, blue, and purple sapphire necklace that JCB president Lou Martin wore for the evening.

Bachendorf’s also generously donated 10 percent of purchases made at the event to Jewel Charity.

Coveted auction items included a seven-night stay at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, as well as beautiful jewelry, art, furs, and a custom evening gown by Mackenzie Brittingham of Stanley Korshak Bridal.

Those feeling lucky could buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a choice of Volvo XC90 T5 Momentum AWD (valued at $54,055) or BMW Z4 sDrive 30i (valued at $56,700) from Autobahn Fort Worth; his and hers custom handmade boots from M.L. Leddy’s (valued at $15,000); $15,000 in Visa gift cards from Frost; and a $14,000 purple sapphire necklace from Bachendorf’s.

After a delectable multicourse dinner, guests danced the night away to the band Powerhouse, the Next Generation. 

Spotted in the crowd, having a great time, were Jewel Charity president-elect Michelle Marlow and Scott Marlow, Ryan Campbell, Natalie Campbell, Mimi and Keith KarnesOrlando Chapa, Todd ReeseBurch and Lisa WaldronLara and Jim NewmanBill and Peggy Sims, Tamara and Phillip BurchRobert Hames, Kathy SneedTeresa and Jim HubbardOleta ThompsonRick and Evelyn MerrillKim Walker, Shary Harmon, and Paige and Neil Randel.

Fort Worth’s longest standing formal gala is a celebration to honor Jewel Charity Angels, and proceeds provide access to care for the patients at Cook Children’s. The event's inception was noted recently in a Sotheby's catalog promoting the sale of some of Nenetta Carter's precious jewels.

"At the inaugural Ball in 1954, [famed jeweler Harry Winston, with whom Carter was friends] brought the famous Hope diamond as well as his own jewels from his ‘Court of Jewels’ exhibition tour to the historic Hotel Texas to offer to Fort Worth's elite," the catalog says. "Debutantes modeled the jewelry and raffle tickets were sold for prizes, beginning traditions that continue to this day."

Once the totals from this year's Jewel Charity Ball are tallied, organizers will present a check to Cook Children’s in a Gift Celebration on March 31.