Houston Treasures

Carolyn Farb


Photo by: Skipworth

farb carolyn Dr. Carolyn Farb, granddaughter of the legendary Houstonian and Las Vegas hotelier Jakie Freedman, was born in Houston, graduated from San Jacinto High School, attended the University of Oklahoma, and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Northwood University. Inspired by her grandfather’s good works through his Las Vegas Sands Hotel and his many anonymous gifts to those in need, Carolyn began her public service early as a teenager volunteering at Texas Children’s Hospital. Since then, she has since raised in excess of $65 million benefiting hundreds of charitable causes and non-profit organizations.

From medical, children’s, and women’s issues to the arts, education, and the environment, Carolyn’s skill, talent and entrepreneurship as a volunteer fundraiser for hundreds of non-profit organizations has been fine-tuned to surpass many of the best professional fundraisers in the world. Her trailblazing efforts include many firsts for our city and nation, including the first gala chairperson to raise a million dollars in a single evening (for the Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research) in 1983, the first pediatric Neurofibromatosis clinic (at M.D. Anderson), the first Challenger Center for Space Science Education (at Houston Museum of Natural Science), and the first city-wide AIDS benefit (“An Evening of Hope”) raising funds for Bering Omega Community Services which provides compassionate care-giving to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Carolyn’s independent Texan spirit and famous “zero budget” philosophy is followed in every event she undertakes and has resulted in $1.5 million evenings benefiting the College of Natural Sciences at U of H and U.T.’s M. D. Anderson (for breast and prostate cancer research).

She serves on numerous boards including UNICEF, HSPVA, Huffington Center on Aging, Texas Innocence Network, Children of Nicaragua and Rotarian International Efforts. Her efforts on behalf of UNICEF’s children of the world have raised $15 million dollars over the last twenty years. The author of two definitive books on the fine art of fundraising, she is also a serious art collector, loaning works of art from her collection to museums across the globe.

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