Downtown Rotary Club of Houston Salute to Houston Heroes Inaugural Gala, Honoring Dr. Carolyn Farb

Downtown Rotary Club of Houston Salute to Houston Heroes Inaugural Gala, Honoring Dr. Carolyn Farb


DATE: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019

TIME: VIP Reception 6:15 p.m., Cocktails/Dinner 7:00 p.m.

PLACE: The Ballroom at Bayou Place

ADDRESS: 500 Texas Street, Houston TX 77002

Our Gala and Silent Auction will include live music by the Richard Brown Orchestra. Valet parking is included.

Proceeds support the local, national and global projects of the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.


Couple - $300

Single - $150

Sponsorship Opportunities

To sponsor a table, please contact Lynn Birdwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Silent Auction Opportunities

Please contact David Hale at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



2019 Gala Co-Chairs Susan DeBakey and Lynn Birdwell are pleased to announce that noted Houston philanthropist, author, and civic leader, Dr. Carolyn Farb, will be the honoree of the inaugural Salute to Houston Heroes Gala sponsored by the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston. Following a special VIP reception for gala sponsors at 6:15 pm, the dinner and silent auction event will be held at the Ballroom at Bayou Place, 500 Texas Street, Saturday, September 28th at 7 pm. Entertainment and live dance music will be provided by the renowned Richard Brown Orchestra.

The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is proud to honor Houston's own Dr. Carolyn Farb. Carolyn's skill, talent, and entrepreneurship as a volunteer fundraiser for many hundreds of nonprofit organizations is the envy of the most successful professional fundraisers in the world. Having raised over 100 million charitable dollars, Carolyn's advocacy is surpassed only by her immense heart and determined drive to improve lives. Her fundraising capability has energized medical research, children's charities, and support for women's issues, as well as the arts, education, and the environment.

A recipient of Rotary International’s prestigious Paul Harris Award, Dr. Farb has raised funds for Rotary International’s Children of The Dump project benefiting youth in Nicaragua, and for UNICEF, providing life-saving aid for children globally, over decades.

Dr. Farb was instrumental in establishing the first inclusive children's playground in Memorial Park. Her love of children is also evident in her support of Children at Risk, The San Jacinto Girl Scout Council, and The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A strong supporter of higher education, Carolyn works with The University of Houston as well as Northwood University, which in 2003 presented her with a Doctor of Humanities Degree, Honoris Causa.

Dr. Farb has been involved in many benefits for the University of Houston. She chaired events which established the Mary G. Cullen and Lucille Melcher scholarships in Athletics and the Gerald D Hines College of Architecture Phillip Johnson Endowed Chair. Carolyn was also honored by the Moore’s School of Music in 1999 and the recipient of the UH Alumni Association Chair’s Award in 2008.

In 1999, Dr. Farb chaired the Quest for Excellence Gala for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) which netted over $3 million. The gala’s success led to the creation of the Eckhard Pfeiffer Distinguished Chair and established an annual scholarship program for NSM students. The funds raised have provided scholarships for over 400 students to date and supported the College’s faculty. The Quest for Excellence Gala remains the largest fundraising event in the University’s history. NSM was proud to honor Dr. Farb in 2014 with the first-ever Legacy Award at their 40th Anniversary IMPACT Gala.

Also renowned for her love of children of the furry kind, Carolyn is the devoted pet-parent of puppies Lucas and Max. Author of Lucas Comes to America, Carolyn is an avid protector of animals, working diligently with the Houston SPCA.

Dr. Farb’s dedication to medical research and charities includes raising funds and awareness for AIDS research since the 1980s. She supports The Neurofibromatosis Foundation, I Have a Dream-Houston, and has chaired two telethons for United Cerebral Palsy. She was instrumental in helping to establish the San Jose Clinic.

As Houstonians, we appreciate her dedication to the growth of our city into a diverse, world-class center for the arts. Carolyn has raised funds for a wide range of city programs including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the world-renowned Houston Ballet Foundation, The Chinese Community Center, The Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Stages Repertory Theater, and the inaugural Indian Film Festival of Houston.

A proud supporter of the sciences and education, Dr. Farb established the first Challenger Center for Space Science Education at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. More than 4.4 million students have completed missions to space at over 40 Challenger Learning Centers around the world using space-themed simulated learning. The widows and family members of the astronauts came to Carolyn and asked her to help create a living legacy and memory of their loved ones. Together they began their journey.

Dr. Farb’s interest in space and science continues with her proud support of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics Auroral Spectra studies. Her advocacy funded the travel of 12 students to Alaska to study various aspects of Earth’s atmosphere as well as airborne organisms. For her stewardship, Carolyn earned the school the CASE Gold Accolade award.

The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is honored to have Dr. Carolyn Farb’s amazing fundraising support. Proceeds from the Salute to Houston Heroes Gala are applied to the Club’s permanent community programs, which include:

VeteransCommittee - Hosts the largest Rotary luncheon honoring veterans in our city, and supports “Honor Flight”, enabling area veterans to visit their memorial. The committee works directly with many Veterans Assistance organizations, including the USO, participating in the annual Houston Veterans Day parade.

Camp Enterprise - In partnership with the top-ranked Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston, this committee sponsor entrepreneurship and business ethics training for local high school juniors.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committee - A proud sponsor of two young 2018 Calf Scramble winners, this Committee supports the Rodeo with scholarship funds and volunteers, benefitting our young community area students.

Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) - Compassionate mentoring/training for adults in their transition back to a productive working life after serving time in a Correctional facility. PEP strives to inspire and motivate inmates, helping them to find satisfying employment upon their return to society, and reducing recidivism.

For further information see:

Event Chairs:

Susan DeBakey - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lynn Birdwell - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Event Information

Event Date 09-28-2019 7:00 pm
Event End Date 09-28-2019 10:30 pm
Registered 0
Available Place 300
Individual Price $0 – $50
Location The Ballroom at Bayou Place

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9333 Memorial Drive,
Suite 301
Houston, Texas 77024-5737


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The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is a community of highly engaged leaders, committed to ever-increasing involvement and service to Rotary International and our own region. Club members share friendship and fellowship through service above self and provide extensive resources to fund community transformational programs and major long-term projects.