As NorthPark Center embarks on its fifth year of celebrating its Ambassador program― an idea spearheaded by Nancy A. Nasher and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman― a spotlight shines brightly upon Dallas’ top influencers and the nonprofits they support. Today, we’re speaking with Susan Farris.
Hand-selected for their philanthropic contributions, each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center and its retailers for various events and initiatives to benefit their respective charitable organization. This year’s Ambassadors are threaded together with a solid commitment to the community. Events that support causes important to them are united in the ultimate spirit of fashion, art, and stylish philanthropy.
Today, we speak with Susan Farris, who has been a member of The Crystal Charity Ball since 2009. Celebrating its milestone anniversary this September, the organization has addressed the needs of children in Dallas County for decades on end. To date, the charitable force has donated nearly $150 million to nonprofits since its inception.
“I am proud of the countless number of children whose lives have been changed through the dedicated fundraising efforts of The Crystal Charity Ball committees,” Farris says. “Our dedicated volunteers along with our generous donors ensure that our commitment to these children is always met through our annual selection of beneficiaries.”
NorthPark Center supports The Crystal Charity Ball with an exhibition on view each year, and along with Neiman Marcus, hosted the Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon for the first time in 2021. The fashion show and luncheon event was warmly received and returns again this September as well.
Your favorite NorthPark memory.
Susan Farris: So many! Shopping for prom dresses and all important family occasions, taking our children and grandchildren to see the trains at Christmas time, and having lunch with my mother at Neiman Marcus.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Farris: Classic and feminine.
NorthPark Center is at the center of combining art and fashion. Describe your own art and fashion interests.
Farris: I was an art major in college and appreciate the incredible artwork at NorthPark Center as well as the many fashion options. l love the old masters and impressionist painters as well as more contemporary artists. Fashion to me is “wearable art” and my fashion interests reflect my visual art interests. Everything from the classics to colorful bright prints.
Who are your role models?
Farris: My mother managed to balance her roles as a mother, businesswoman, civic leader, and community volunteer of all of the past 69 Crystal Charity Balls.
What keeps you driven?
Farris: Wanting to live a purposeful life by working to make an impact in our community.
What are two fun facts about you?
Farris: I am 100% city girl during the week but a country girl on the weekends at our ranch in East Texas where my favorite pastimes are getting my hands dirty working in the vegetable garden and going to Tractor Supply. And I am “Susu” to my 3 adorable granddaughters!
How do you find a moment of balance while getting it all done?
Farris: I step away from my work by taking a daily walk and going to the country on the weekends to clear my head and gather my thoughts for the week.
The best advice you’ve ever heard?
Farris: Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Work on the things you can control.
On the importance of giving back.
Farris: When you give back, you’re able to better the lives of the people around you. Giving back to the place you call home helps to unite the community and bridge some of the social and economic gaps. Without volunteers, many of the services and events we enjoy in our communities would not be so readily available.