Sela Ward

Sela Ward

She's an award-winning actress with Mississippi roots and a passion for helping people and places in the Magnolia State.

The 18th annual Crystal Ball will honor Mississippi native and Emmy Award-winning actress Sela Ward.

Four local Community Stars will also be honored at the fundraiser to aid over 400 charitable programs through the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. Another sell-out crowd of 1,000 is expected for the gala.

The black-tie event will include a fabulous dinner, rock n roll music by the Dantones, and live and silent auctions--all around a vintage fairytale theme Once upon a Time: Giving Northwest Mississippi a Happily Ever After with the Community Foundation.

Dozens of volunteers with the leadership of co-chairs Patrick and Emily Johnson of Tunica are preparing to make the gala a fun-filled evening.

“We are so excited to be a part of this year’s Crystal Ball! The Community Foundation is such an amazing organization that helps so many communities. Patrick and I are proud to be supporting their efforts. The Gala is going to be a fun, magical night and we are really looking forward to it!” said Emily.

Guests will have the opportunity to bid on spectacular silent auction items like a McCarty Pottery luncheon party or a day on the square in Oxford. Live auction items will be jaw-dropping one-of-a-kind experiences and wondrous trips to vacation destinations.

The Emmy award-winning actress will be honored with the Star of Hope award as a Mississippi native who continues to provide charitable leadership in her home state. Sela has had powerful roles in both film and television, including her recent big screen portrayal of the President of the United States in “Independence Day Resurgence.”

She currently stars as ‘Margaret Graves’ opposite Nick Nolte on the EPIX original series, “Graves.” Sela won Best Actress Emmy Awards for her breakthrough performance in “Sisters” and her work in “Once and Again.”

In her native Mississippi, Sela founded Hope Village for Children to provide a safe haven and an alternative to traditional foster care system. She has also been the driving force in establishing the Mississippi Artists and Entertainers Experience in Meridian, which is expected to open in Spring 2018.

When not working or tending to her philanthropic projects, Ward is an accomplished painter and New York Times bestselling author with Homesick, which is part inspirational story, part memoir that tells Ward’s quest for a balance of the comforts of her small-town childhood and the big city way of life.

Four local Community Stars will also be honored at the Ball in the categories of man, woman, business, and non-profit organization of the year.

Tickets for the Jan. 20, 2018 event at the Arena at Southaven are $150 per person. They can be purchased online at or by check to the Community Foundation, 315 Losher St., Hernando, MS 38632 or call 662-449-5002.

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi is focused on improving the education and health of its eleven-county region’s children and youth and has disbursed $20.1 million to 420 charitable organizations and programs to accomplish its goals. Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties. A board of 19 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation.

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