Mission & History
Click here to download a pdf version of the 2016 Rotogravure.
Learn more about the annual Rotogravure.
The mission of the Charity Ball Association of San Antonio, Inc. is to support and enhance the quality of life for children of Bexar County.
CBA's legacy of compassion and efficiency ensures that CHILDREN BENEFIT ALWAYS.
In 1954 a small group of women led by Mrs. Ralph E. Fair saw children in their community suffering and in need. They formed the Charity Ball Association of San Antonio, Inc. to give financial assistance to struggling children's agencies of Bexar County, many of which did not receive support from the United Way (then called the Community Chest).
Led by Mrs. Fair and her philosophy of "Wrap the big hand around the little hand," this group of women sprang to action to help children with special needs and families disrupted by violence or divorce. They decided to devote their hard work and resources to children's agencies and charities that provided care, guidance and education to children and their families. With 114 founding members, the date for the first ball was set for October 28, 1954. It was one of the very first fund-raising balls in the country and all of their proceeds ($25,000) went to Sunshine Cottage and Boysville -- enabling both to expand their facilities and serve more children. Thus, The Chrysanthemum Ball was born!
The following year, the group was completely organized with a Board of Directors that included eight women and eight men from the community. This original structure of the organization remains essentially the same today. Succeeding annual balls and the projects surrounding it have raised more than $11million for the youth of Bexar County.
Over the years the CBA has introduced new fundraising projects in addition to the Ball, including the Rotogravure, the Datebook, Patron Contributions and Fall Prize Ticket Sales.
The primary work performed by The CBA is in reviewing grant requests, selecting the recipients of the funds raised each year, monitoring the use of funds and producing the fund-raising projects. Every Ball is the culmination of an entire year's work. All of the work is performed by volunteers from The Charity Ball Association. The Association consists of 135 active members called Sponsors and is governed by 23 board members, including 11 officers, who are elected annually. Of the 23 board members, nineteen are CBA members and four are men from the community.