The understated yet noble architecture of Yoshio Taniguchi's Asia Society Texas Center provided a serene backdrop for the vivid tableau of cultural fashions and manners that defined Thursday night's record-breaking Tiger Ball.
Despite the soggy weather (umbrellas open) and a horrendous traffic jam, it appeared that all 700 in the sellout crowd made it to the party that raised a record of almost $1.3 million. The Enchanting China-themed evening began in the Chevron Gala Pavilion, a tented extravaganza decorated in hundreds of red lanterns that danced overhead while gilded dragons rising above the floor heralded the festivities to come.
The Chinese theme was carried out not only in decor and menu but also in the heritage of key figures in the evening. Lily Chen Foster, a native of Shanghai, and renowned immigration attorney Charles Foster were honored for their longtime commitment to the Asia Society. Charles Foster has been on board for decades, much of that as chairman. Couples tapped to chair the gala have Chinese roots as well — Y. Ping Sun and husband David Leebron, Rice University president, and Anne and Albert Chao, chairman of Westlake Chemical Corp.
The Chinese theme was carried out not only in decor and menu but also in the heritage of key figures in the evening.
As the chimes rang for dinner, the throng, many in colorful national dress, others in Chinese red, spread across the museum with every available space taken up by dinner tables. They dined on the stage in the auditorium, in the education center in the main foyer and beyond. They feasted on a China-inspired menu from City Kitchen.
The festive atmosphere had Asia Society executive director Bonna Kol and deputy director John Bradshaw Jr. beaming. Also in the spotlight was Chevron's Joni Baird, who waved her magic wand and provided the gala pavilion.
Following dinner it was back to the gala pavilion for a dessert extravaganza and dancing to the sounds of Punch Bowl. Among those partaking of the Enchanting China evening were Nancy Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Helen Nagge and Mel Chin, Molly and Jim Crownover, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Divya and Chris Brown, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, Leigh and Reggie Smith and Leslie and Brad Bucher.