Internationally renowned fundraiser, author and business woman Dr. Carolyn Farb, hc, known for her contagious zeal for living, finds inspiration in every nook and cranny of her life: in those closest to her, in the creativity of others and in her very surroundings. It seeps into everything she pursues, even when she finds a rare moment for herself.
“My grandmother Jakie Freedman was and is my inspiration,” said Farb. “When I need a boost, he and my late son Jake Shulman, are my hovering angels. They watch over me and Ii feel that I am not alone… My son Jake inspired me to follow my dream and his validation of my volunteer efforts was very important to me.” Jake is also an inpiraton to others. In fact, famed singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver will record “A Year of a Thousand Tears” a song written collaboratively with Farb, in Jakes’s memory.
When she’s not working hard to promote her new book, “The Fine Art of Fundraising: Secrets for Successful Volunteers,” chairing “Playgrounds without Limits,” or advocating for UNICEF, she looks to, “good conversation and repartee, seeing movies of substance and fantasy (Andy Garcia’s ‘The Lost City’ and Johnny Depp’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’), and staying immersed in positive energy.
However, maintaining the balance between public and private life is sometimes, as Farb said, “precarious.”
“I love both aspects of my life, as I am outgoing and have a great fondness for the public who have supported my philanthropic efforts for the last 25 years…The line is fuzzy. When my son Jake passed away, I would not have survived without the protective cloud of karma that enveloped me.”
Her home state also serves as a muse for the driven philanthropist.
“The people of Texas inspire me,” said Farb. “They are open and fearless. Texas embraces the spirit of entrepreneurship and the character of its people comes from its rich history and mystical folklore. Houston is reaching new heights culturally, economically and last but not least philanthropically. The world witnessed Katrina and Rita as Houston extended open arms of kindness, compassion and generosity.”
Carolyn Farb takes a moment to relax at the 2006 Art Car Parade
As demanding as her schedule is, Farb doesn’t forget to look for help in life’s little things, including man’s four-legged friend.
“A year ago I lost my beloved Shiz Tsu, Bogie, my sidekick for fifteen years… Bogie and I did everything together. He hung out in my office, worked on my volunteer fundraising projects as well as chairing a few of his own,” said Farb. “(But), I think I’m ready to welcome a new best friend as I am thrilled with every dog I see, ranging from elegant Russian Wolfhounds to a golden chow dog that hangs out at Artisan Designs in the Village.”
These days, Farb is “in pursuit of a Lucas Terrier who looks like Toto who has captured my heart. They are not easy to come by. There is a waiting list.”
An avid collector of fine art, Farb’s life is sprinkled with creativity.
“I look at my environment as an on-going, ever evolving artwork,” she said. “Art nurtures my soul, and being an eclectic individual with many interests, my collection reflects my essence.”
Artists in Farb’s collection include Frida Kahlo, Robert Rauschenberg, Henri Rousseau, David Forrester Wilson, and little Andy Warhol sprinkled in.
No matter what, Farb will never cease the pursuit of philanthropy and volunteerism.
“We all want to make this journey knowing that our lives have mattered. Whatever that something each of us contributes in life to help others is of consequence,” she said. “My passion for life comes from living in the moment and sharing with those who are there with me.”
Crystal Rawls is a freelance writer specializing in feature articles, press releases and marketing content. Credits include investigative and human interest articles and interviews with celebrities such as Vince Vaughn, Joan Rivers and Kenny Loggins, among others. Rawls may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.