Japanese Fantasyland Comes to Life In Fort Worth — Jewel Charity Ball’s Night in Kyoto Is Quite a Scene

A Wishing Tree, a Boat Auction and a Wolfgang Puck Buffet Makes This Anything But an Ordinary Event

BY Courtney Dabney // 03.22.23

More than 1,300 guests were swept away for a Night in Kyoto at the 68th annual Jewel Charity Ball at Will Rogers Memorial Center’s Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall. One of Fort Worth’s most fabulous charity balls supports the patients at Cook Children’s.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with the sounds of Dallas Kiyari Daiko drummers — and transported into a traditional Japanese garden as they descended the escalator into another world. It all was the vision of Jewel Charity Ball president Shannon Shivers. The black-draped hall was decorated with bonsai-shaped tall cherry blossom topiary trees, leading toward a lacquer red torii gate, which served as the party’s entranceway.

Raffle winners were announced as Fort Worth's Jewel Charity Ball drew to a close. Jewel Charity Ball president Shannon Shivers (right) made a vision come true. (Photo by Canon Elizabeth Photography)
Raffle winners were announced as Fort Worth’s Jewel Charity Ball drew to a close. Jewel Charity Ball president Shannon Shivers (right) made a vision come true. (Photo by Canon Elizabeth Photography)


Party designer Bill Robertson of Events by Bill transformed every inch of the space for the lavish ball.

The cocktail hour served up the sounds of Rockestra String Quartet, along with flutes of champagne served by kimono-clad geishas. Ball goers nibbled on sushi and sipped cocktails while bidding on 20 luxury auction packages. And everyone wanted to pay a visit to the Wells Fargo Wishing Tree, which had special wishes dangling from its branches.

Jewel Charity Ball guests noshed from the chilled bar during cocktial hour. (Photo by Canon Elizabeth Photography)

There were also 12 raffle prizes, including two automobiles ― a Mercedes Benz from Park Place Motorcars Fort Worth and a Dodge Challenger GT Blacktop courtesy of Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Weatherford. But that didn’t end the transportation raffle fun. A boat was raffled off at the end of the night, with the winner getting to choose between taking a pontoon or deck boat from North Texas Marine.

After the cocktail hour, everyone moved into the ballroom for an Asian-inspired buffet dinner from Wolfgang Puck. Motown legends Kool & The Gang played their hits “Ladies Night” and “Celebration.” Then Powerhouse Band kept many dancing until after midnight. The late night treats? Bao buns, mochi desserts and chocolate dipped fortune cookies.

To date, Jewel Charity Ball has raised more than $81 million to help the patients and families at Fort Worth’s Cook Children’s. That’s made possible by full slate of events held throughout the year, from jewelery parties to golf tournaments. And of course, a ball to remember.

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