The 22nd annual Crystal Ball, hosted by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, will honor Mississippi natives, University of Mississippi graduates, and HGTV’s Home Town stars, Erin and Ben Napier as its Stars of Hope. Ben also has a show on HGTV based on his woodworking called Ben’s Workshop. The Napiers reside in Laurel, Mississippi where they famously repair and remodel old homes, while telling the history of not only the homes, but also the town known as Laurel. The Napiers also founded Laurel Mercantile and the Scotsman General Store. They have published two books, Make Something Good Today and The Lantern House.


The Crystal Ball, taking place on January 15, 2022, at the Arena in Southaven, is a black-tie event that honors well-deserving citizens of Mississippi. This evening will include a fabulous dinner, music, dancing, and live and silent auctions–all around a fun, colorful theme: A Night in Havana. Because of this annual fundraiser, the Community Foundation has provided grants to over 850 charitable organizations totaling $33 million since 2002.


Dozens of volunteers, under the leadership of volunteer co-chairs Michael and Elizabeth Bellipanni, are preparing to make the gala a fun-filled evening.


“Our excitement in bringing back a live event for Crystal Ball is hard to put into words. Just being able to gather and celebrate in person is special after the hardships we have all experienced since our last live event in January of 2020,” said the Michael Bellipanni. “We are also thrilled to honor such great champions for Mississippi with the Star of Hope Award. Erin and Ben are so deserving of this award for their work in bringing out the beauty and positive light of our great state. The Crystal Ball is a tremendous undertaking, and it could not be done without the help of dozens of volunteers and the Foundation’s staff that care deeply about the communities that we serve.”


“The Napiers join a long list of notable Mississippians who have previously been recognized as Stars of Hope,” said Colie Sanford, Chairman of the Community Foundation Board of Directors. “They join a distinguished list that includes the North Mississippi All-Stars and Blind Mississippi Morris, Morgan Freeman, Senator Thad Cochran, Sam and Mary Donnelly Haskell, B.B. King, Governor and Mrs. William Winter, Mary Ellen Stribiling Bouldin, M.D., Archie and Olivia Manning, Bob Pittman, Marty Stuart, Bradford Cobb, Richard Grant, Sela Ward, Jesse Holland, Wade and Jimmy Creekmore, and Charley Pride.”


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for Crystal Ball 2022, please visit our website at for more information. To sign up to become a volunteer for Crystal Ball 2022, please visit the Maddox Volunteer Center at


About the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi: The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi manages 240 donor-established funds. 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. Learn more about the Community Foundation at or call 662.449.5002. Follow the Community Foundation on Facebook at, Twitter at @CFNM_2002, YouTube @CFNM2002, and Instagram @CFNM2002.