Celebrating Asia Society’s 40th Anniversary in Houston, Tiger Ball 2019 paid homage on March 1, 2019 to the memory of founding member Barbara Bush. The event also recognized honorees Phoebe and Bobby Tudor and was chaired by Michelle and Hector Herrera and Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, as well as honorary chairs The Honorable Hushang and Shahla Ansary, Maria and Neil Bush, and Molly and Jim Crownover.
Over 600 guests proceeded along the red carpet into the Asia Society Texas Center facility, which was thematically decorated and is itself an award-winning work of art (designed by famed architect Yoshio Taniguchi). Dancers from Huaxing Arts Group and Samskriti lit the way with Asian lanterns to the lavishly decorated Chevron Gala Pavilion.
A sumptuous Pan-Asian dinner, including curried apple and cauliflower soup with poached shrimp and miso soy glazed Chilean sea bass, was served in the Pavilion, followed by a brief program utilizing a ceremonial candle-lighting to honor the memory of ASTC’s founding member Barbara Bush. After dinner, guests returned to the ASTC building for dessert and dancing.
The highlights of the big board auction included the opportunity to throw the first pitch at an Astros game; a week’s stay in the Tudor family’s 10-bedroom Nantucket home with ocean views, infinity pool, and spa bathrooms; luxury accommodations in NYC, with exclusive tours at the Big Apple’s most famous museums; two sets of first-class United airfare to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, or the Middle East; dinner for 10 with Rice University President Dr. David W. Leebron and First Lady Y. Ping Sun in their 1920s mansion; designer handbags by Versace, Valentino and Alexander McQueen; artwork by Japanese painter/woodworker Ayomi Yoshida; jewelry by Tiffany & Co., Chopard, David Yurman, Mariquita Masterson and a necklace boasting 73 pearls honoring the 73-year long marriage of Barbara and George Bush by Texas designer Becky Hollands. The auction items were valued at almost $195,000.
Proceeds topped $1.418 million, breaking previous Tiger Ball fundraising records, as well as exceeding this year’s goal by more than $100,000. Funds raised support Asia Society Texas Center’s 150+ public programs each year.
Next year’s Tiger Ball will be held in March 2020, honoring legendary Houston philanthropist Lynn Wyatt.