Jade Ball Was Highlighted By Beijing Opera Singer Lucy Xu, Artist-Filled Hutongs, Delayed Dishes And Dancing Dragons In The Driveway

As locals and tourists in shorts, T-shirts and sneakers walked by Belo Mansion on Saturday, October 7, something seemed a little amiss. Perhaps it was the sound of drums, but more likely it was the dragons.

At times there were two Chinese dragons vying with the valet parkers in the driveway for the arrival of black-tie guests. At other times it was an elongated dragon dancing and entertaining the already-settled guests looking down from the windows upstairs in the Pavilion. The dragons, the drums and the 350 guests were all there to celebrate the inaugural Jade Ball benefiting the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

Phillip Chen

Once past the check-in, the Mansion and hallways surrounding the ballroom had been turned in to hutongs filled with artist Danqing Coldwell, calligrapher Carle Shi, tea master Phillip Chen and fortune teller Iris Quachs.

Robert Weatherly, Amy Lewis Hofland, Lynn McBee and Trammell S. Crow

Event Chair Robert Weatherly and Honorary Chair Lynn McBee were hustling through the crowd, fulfilling the demands of photographers.

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer-Freling

Paul Christopher Yanez and Lauren Embrey

Linda and Steve Ivy

Kristen Gibbins and Stacie Adams

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling were reporting that they were past the newlywed-year marker… Following the fundraiser’s title, jade was indeed the color of the night — Linda Ivy’s jade necklace and matching earrings with jade-colored stole, Kristen Gibbins‘ earrings, Nikki Webb‘s necklace, Gay Donnell‘s and Angela Nash‘s jade-colored gowns, and Billy Martin Jr.‘s tie highlighted with deep-green leaves. Getting into the Asian ensemble category were Mimi Sterling in a gray kimono with fan, Lauren Embrey in a rose-red lace qipao, Trammell S. Crow in traditional Chinese formal black jacket and Koshi Dhingra in a red sari highlighted with sky-blue flower appliques.

Crayton and Nikki Webb and Angela Nash and Billy Martin Jr

Just as the place was going to bust with guests, the doors to the ballroom opened with a splendiferous array of tables surrounding a stage with a backdrop of bamboo topped with colorful lanterns.

While it took some time for the guests to take their places, there were no pre-sets. Instead of salads, they found charger plates, silverware, water and wine glasses and chopsticks, of course. Crow Collection Executive Director Amy Lewis Hofland got their attention plinging chimes. In describing the growth of the Asian community in North Texas, Amy told how when she had graduated from Plano High School, only 1% of the students were Asian Americans. Today the figure stands at 30%.

In the meantime, servers provided plates with three dumplings — pork with ginger soy, chicken with dragon chili and mushroom with sesame yuzu. Not wanting to seem unworldly, most guests proved their dexterity by using their chopsticks to devour the trio.

Lucy Xu

Instead of being immediately removed, the dumpling-less plates stayed put while beautifully attired Beijing Opera singer Lucy Xu sang “Drunken Beauty,” accompanied by the Dallas HuaYun Chinese Orchestra.

Eventually, the dumpling dishes were removed and water glasses were filled nonstop. A floor monitor walked between the table looking satisfied. Plates of Hong Kong style short ribs on purple and russet potato taro root mash and wok fired Yu Choy with sweet carrots slowly made their way to the tables. Most guests found themselves resorting to the silverware to cut into the short ribs and saw into the carrots.

Lucy Xu

Chair Robert and Honorary Chair Lynn were invited to the stage by Crow Collection Media Relations person Stacie Adams. Graciously they thanked the Crow family for expanding Dallas’ appreciation of the cultures on display and programs available at the museum. Between the eloquent acknowledgments by Robert and Lynn and the live auction was Lucy Xu in yet another fabulous costume to perform “Farewell My Concubine” after a slight delay, due to one of the HuaYun Orchestra members having to tune up.  

While Lucy’s performance was beautiful, the action tableside was still spotty. At one table, all the entrée plates had been removed except for one. Even after dessert plates—with vanilla cake with matcha cream frosting, red plum drizzle and mooncake with red bean —had been placed, the empty entrée plate stayed as if anchored to the table. The guest in possession of the lone entrée plate told the other guests to proceed with their desserts. Despite his offer, no one lifted a fork until the situation was updated.

Katherine Rigdon

It was now 9:30 p.m. and Heritage Auctioneer Katherine Rigdon took the stage, searching the room for bids like a bird dog on the hunt. She claimed there was $2,500 hiding out there. At one point she hooded her eyes and looked to the far reaches of the room trying to discover a $45,000 bid. Oops! Make that a $4,500 bid. After a couple of packages were paddled in at low four-figure numbers, Chef Kent Rathbun arrived on stage, taking the mic and rallying the bids. His package of a dinner for 20 at the Crow Museum popped up the bidding to $10,000. Things were definitely perking up. Kent then continued his campaign, offering an event at the Rathbun homestead for a dinner, a cooking or whatever for ten. That surprise package hauled in a nifty $7,000 from Nick Even.

After the final bid was tallied, the crowd adjourned for more fortunes to be told and artwork to be created.  

For more pictures, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Jade Ball

It’s not every day that dragons dance merrily in the driveway of Belo Mansion, or that Chinese Opera singer Lucy Xu sings “Farewell My Concubine” in the Pavilion. But those were just a couple of the sights and sounds that took place at the Crow Collection of Asian Art’s Jade Ball on Saturday, October 7.

Lucy Xu

Lynn McBee and Robert Weatherly

Gala Chair Robert Weatherly and Honorary Chair Lynn McBee arranged for a hutong of Chinese artists, tea masters and fortune tellers to the delight of the 350 black-tie guests before entering the ballroom for a seated dinner complete with chopsticks and a live auction that had auctioneer Katherine Rigdon searching for bids.

Phillip Chen

Katherine Rigdon

While the post is being prepared, check out the pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Grovel Alert: Jade Ball

Always-on-the-move Lynn McBee was on her way to Saturday night’s Fur Ball when she reported that the Jade Ball benefiting Crow Collection of Asian Art on Saturday, October 7, at Belo Mansion was just one table away from being a done deal.

Jade Ball*

According to sources, the near sell-out is due to Jade Ball Chair Robert Weatherly and Lynn along with the host committee members like Denny Alberts and Cynthia ComparinJenna Alexander, Annika and Dennis Cail, Darryl Freling, Kristen and Reed Gibbins, Gerardo Gomez, Joyce Goss, Diana Hamilton, Frank Hettig, Jenny and John KirtlandJerald Miller, Jin and James Mun, Angela Nash, Andrea and David Nayfa, Debra Nelson, Heather Randall, Tracey and Kent Rathbun, Carol and Frank Riddick, Lisa and John Runyon, Capera Ryan, Stephanie and Michael Seay, Clara Hinojosa, David Kiger, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Jane McGarry, Sunie Solomon, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Whitney and Rob Strauss, Tara Lewis and John SwordsConnie and Marc Sigel, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Ashley Tatum, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Maxine Trowbridge, Trey Wasser, Annette and Myron Watkins, Paige Westhoff and Megan and Brady Wood.

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Robert Weatherly (File photo)

Ah, but Lynn reports that the Crow Collection’s inaugural Jade Ball is going to be a fundraiser somewhere between The Sweetheart Ball and Art Ball with a blend of entertainment, seated supper and surprises throughout the evening.

When asked why it wasn’t being held across the street at the Crow Museum, Lynn said, “There wasn’t enough room.” After all, the attendance for the event is scheduled to hit the 400 mark.

According to Robert, “The success of the Jade Ball is extremely important as we work to ensure the longevity of our city’s sole Pan-Asian museum. I’m very proud that this first-year event will help the Crow Collection of Asian Art continue to provide North Texas with quality, diverse programming such as the southern U.S.’s largest Chinese New Year Festival, groundbreaking exhibitions, innovative wellness programs and exciting educational activities and events for all ages.”  

If that one table has already been snapped up, try the old-fashioned way of getting in — write a big, old check. Betcha Robert and Lynn will find a way to squeeze you in. Here’s the link to get in.

JUST IN: The Inaugural Jade Ball To Benefit The Crow Collection Of Asian Art With Robert Weatherly Chairing And Lynn McBee As Honorary Chair

There’s the Fur Ball, the Eye Ball and now there’s the Jade Ball. It was just announced that on Saturday, October 7, the Inaugural Jade Ball Gala will take place benefiting the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

Robert Weatherly (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Gala Chair Robert Weatherly and Honorary Chair Lynn McBee revealed that a black-tie, three-course dinner will take place at Belo Mansion for 400 complete with a grand entrance, signature cocktail, entertainment, networking and a live auction.

With summer vacation just kicking off, it’s a perfect time to check out the 19-year-old museum “dedicated solely to the arts of Asia, with rotating galleries exhibiting the arts of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam.”

Oh, about the price of admission? In addition to having air conditioning to cool off the summer heat, it’s free admission thanks to its founders the late Margaret and Trammell Crow.