Charity Ball Association Celebrates Million Dollar Fundraising
By Jonathan Spindel Photography by JB Lyde/Parish Photography
The Witte Museum was the stunning setting for the 64rd annual Chrysanthemum Ball celebrating the generous grants given this year by The Charity Ball Association to 24 children’s charities in Bexar County. The theme of the evening was Chinoiserie, the decorative aesthetic that combines European and Far Eastern beauty.
The evening began in the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery, where guests mingled over cocktails while traditional Chinese Lion dancers provided entertainment. At the sound of a gong, the dancers led guests into the Mays Family Center for dinner.
THE VIBE: The décor was a magnificent sight to behold. The tables, decorated by Illusions, featured floral arrangements by Danny Cueller of Trinity Flowers, with tiered pagoda lanterns, stunning blossoms, bamboo accents and flickering candles. On the ceiling of the ballroom hung 80 hand-painted umbrellas in vibrant red, yellow and orange hues. Large scale Chinese paintings, and stunning visual mapping by JSAV projected throughout the ballroom carried on the red and gold motifs. Blazing red Chinese torches with gilded accents provided the finishing illuminating touch.
Rosemary’s Catering greeted guests with an Asian-inspired menu which included butler passed hors d’oeuvres of orange chili glazed pork, lobster-filled Shiitake mushrooms, and hoisin glazed duck breast crepes, before treating them to a mango and watermelon poke salad with sake vinaigrette and a sesame wonton. The featured entree was a seared coffee filet with mushrooms and brown butter demi with Thai basil shrimp and sweet potato hash, followed by a warm dark chocolate and sesame cake with toasted caramel. The live band Blind Date played during dinner, as well as afterward and late into the evening while guests danced the night away.
THE CAUSE: The 2018 Ball was chaired by President Leslie Kingman. Lisa Thurmond, as VP of Decorations, provided the vision and created the theme and Susan Hall, Event Coordinator, supervised all of the logistics. This year the CBA celebrated giving over $20 million to agencies serving the needs of children in Bexar County since its inception 64 years ago. The majority of funds are provided to agencies during an annual grant cycle, but funds also are set aside each year to meet immediate emergency needs through The Children’s Opportunity Fund.