Neither rain nor traffic could deter partygoers from the Asia Society Texas Center’s Tiger Ball on Thursday night. Despite the soggy skies and congested streets, some 700 gussied-up guests made their way to the Museum District venue primed to toast the organization’s 35-year Houston presence.
Flanked by golden imperial dragons, chairs Anne and Albert Chao and Y. Ping Sun and David W. Leebron received patrons as they entered the tented Chevron Gala Pavilion. A custom Chloe Dao creation sparkled on display near the opposite end of the venue, and trays upon trays of stuffed crab claws, trout on wonton crisps and vegetarian egg rolls kept attendees sated as they navigated the vast event space.
Umbrella-bearing ushers guided the crowd to the main building for dinner. Inside, tables were scattered throughout multiple rooms and levels, although the most coveted seats were tucked away in the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater. On stage, honorees Lily Chen Foster and Charles C. Foster mingled with Lynn Wyatt, Maria and Neil Bush and new Bayou City residents Ambassador Qiangmin Li and Madam Hongyan Zeng.
The “Enchanting China”- themed soiree already had raised a staggering $1.2 million by the time the meal — which included red chile shrimp balls and roasted duck breast — was plated; final numbers tallied just shy of $1.3 million. Eager to celebrate, many dashed back across the rain-soaked courtyard to return to the tents where cordials were served alongside the colossal dessert buffet; the spread included a thoughtful bananas foster in tribute to Lily and Charles Foster. Though the valet line snaked all the way to the dance floor, with spiced cupcakes and silver fortune cookie party favors in hand, no one seemed to mind.
In the crowd: Nancy Allen, Lydia and James Chao, Chinhui and Eddie Allen, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Isla and T.R. Reckling III, Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Muffet Blake, Nancy T. Chang, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Mandy Kao and Mel Chin.