The first-ever virtual Crystal Ball, hosted by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, proved to be an enormous success centered on the theme Roll on Mississippi.
The highlight of the Crystal Ball event was the posthumous presentation of the Star of Hope award to Charley Pride’s wife, Rozene, and son, Dion.
The presentation was followed by tributes from Country Music legends and superstars, totaling nearly thirty Grammy Awards and numerous number one hit songs, including: Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bobby Rush, Steve Azar, and Marty Stuart. Adding to the program were notable Mississippians and former Star of Hope honorees Archie Manning, Bob Pittman, Sela Ward, Sam and Mary Haskell, and Jesse Holland.
Ken Burns, creator and director of the PBS Country Music documentary which prominently featured Charley Pride, stated in his Crystal Ball segment, “The Star of Hope honor bestowed on Charley Pride is an appropriately named award. Charley, you are indeed a star in every meaning of that word.” Musical performances by Mac McAnally, Curt Chambers, Kingfish Ingram, Charlie Worsham, and Bobby Rush entertained viewers, along with a Marshall Ramsey drawing depicting St. Peter opening the gates of Heaven to Charley Pride.
The almost hour-long program also featured four Community Star honorees selected by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.
Those honors went to Mr. Bob Dunlap, of Batesville, as the Dan Maddox Man of the Year; Robin Page Cocke, of Clarksdale, as the Margaret Maddox Woman of the Year; Wade, Incorporated, of Greenwood, as the Business of the Year; and Heartland Hands, of Southaven, as the Nonprofit of the Year.
Each Community Star was prominently featured in a tribute video with emphasis on the charitable causes that matter to them and causes that are supported by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi in its 11-county service area.
PBS Memphis will air its first version of Crystal Ball on February 12.
This version will promote the 2021 Crystal Ball sponsors and highlight the Charley Pride Star of Hope tribute.
Be sure to look for more airings on other PBS networks like Jackson, Mississippi. To watch the virtual Crystal Ball: Roll On Mississippi program in its entirety, visit www.youtube.com/user/CFNM2002/videos. To date, the program has had almost 5,000 views from all channels – YouTube, CFNM website, and Facebook.
The Crystal Ball Gala – the virtual and live event - benefits more than 800 nonprofits through the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and annually raises $195,000 in support of nonprofits in the 11-county service region.
This year, the Community Foundation has an unaudited amount of over $200,000 raised. The Crystal Ball supports causes such as the purchase of forklifts and walk-in freezers for food pantries, headsets for children’s distance learning, a study for retirement and assisted living communities for virtual communications, networking of over 7,000 volunteers, and much more! Additionally, since April 1, the Community Foundation has been able to grant over $924,594 to nonprofits and food pantries through the FEED Northwest Mississippi Fund, all due to the Crystal Ball revenue.
Over the past twenty years, the Crystal Ball has helped to provide over $27 million grants to benefit over 800 nonprofits and charitable causes.
The date for the 22nd Annual Crystal Ball Gala is set for January 15, 2022.
To learn more about the Crystal Ball or the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, call 662.449.5002, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cfnm.org.