Charity Ball Association Celebrates Million Dollar Fundraising

By Leanne Raesener Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde

THE SETTING: The Charity Ball Association (CBA) of San Antonio’s 65th Chrysanthemum Ball was held at the Witte Museum’s Valero Great Hall and Mays Family Center, with a record-breaking $1 million of funds raised by the almost 600 supporters in attendance.

The black-tie clad and elegantly attired guests arrived on a 100-foot long red carpet through a floral fantasy arch. They were ushered in by formally attired stilt walkers and entertainers while listening to the amazing sounds of the Youth Orchestra San Antonio (YOSA).

THE STYLE: The décor, inspired by the CBA’s 65th anniversary commemorative scarf, was designed by award-winning artist Stuart Seal, and featured blue sapphires, gold chains, acanthus leaves, cut crystal, and colorful chrysanthemums, all centered by The Charity Ball Association of San Antonio’s 65th anniversary logo.

The floral design by Danny Cueller of Trinity Flowers was the perfect pièce-de-résistance with the ballroom’s beautifully adorned tables covered with oversized glass vases supporting a burst of colorful flowers that paid homage to that scarf’s colorful palette. A 15-foot tall ice sculpture by award-winning Buddy Rasmussen framed with opulent florals greeted guests as they entered The Mays Family Center.

As the night commenced, guests savored decadent hors d’oeuvres, including a beef carpaccio crostini, house-made salmon mousse topped with Bowfin caviar and fried Parmesan artichoke hearts before arriving at a three-course meal that included brown butter and seared thyme filet paired with a seared scallop atop a creamed Gruyere spinach, all by Rosemary’s Catering. Wine pairings were an elegant and perfect accompaniment to the gourmet meal.

THE PURPOSE: Sharon Seal, CBA vice president of decorations, created a special, unique, and memorable evening, while CBA President, Lynn Ziegler, orchestrated the festivities. The Association celebrated the founders of the Association. Gala attendees enjoyed a video of past CBA grant recipients, and a slideshow of historical photos, archived Rotogravure books, and newspaper clippings that delighted all, especially those who saw their beloved grandmothers, parents, relatives, and family friends through the decades.

Part of the fun included the moment Billy Cavender drew the winning Gold Ticket for the new Cadillac that was given away, and the Charity Ball Association graciously acknowledged decades of giving by Cavender Cadillac. The Charity Ball Association of San Antonio supports the children of Bexar County by distributing grants each year since 1954, now totaling more than $21 million. The organization’s tenet is Children Benefit Always.