Culture and community come together at this year’s Hong Kong Nights |

Culture and community come together at this year’s Hong Kong Nights

Chef David Walford of Splendido at the Chateau and volunteer Bob Owens took over the kitchen at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel to prepare an Asian inspired dinner for guests of the Hong Kong Nights fundraising event.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

EDWARDS — This past Saturday, the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Center for Community held a Hong Kong Nights fundraiser that brought guests a cultural mix of opera, fine foods, art and camaraderie. The spirit of community was not lost on this crowd. In the Center for Community’s kitchen, a group of eager volunteers — including Bob and Lindy Owens — worked to help prepare the evening’s dinner under the expert guidance of chef David Walford, of Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek. Walford has donated his time and talents to this event for the past three years.

The proceeds from Hong Kong Nights were collected to benefit the Edwards Interfaith Chapel, which houses seven different religious denominations that share the space while respecting different customs and beliefs. This harmony of cultures is the heart of the building. The Center for Community is also used for meetings, classes, therapy sessions, community dinners and food banks. The list of nonprofit organizations that have used the Center is long and includes Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Homecare and Hospice, TEDx and Vail Symposium, to name a few. Many events also take place in the Center, from baptisms to celebrations of life and many things in between.

The evening began with a warm welcome from event chair Susan Washing, who thanked her committee and contributors, including Allison Molina and Barbara Miller, for their ambitious work and dedication to the event and the chapel. Washing also explained how the musical sets would play out with some arias being sung only if they were purchased.

“It is a whole lot of fun to dedicate a piece as a surprise,” Washing said. In fact, Washing purchased an aria in honor of her event committee. Lawrence Herrington dedicated a beautiful aria titled “Tanzlied,” from “Die Tote Sade,” to Patricia “the love of my life.”

Live auction items were brilliant all around including one week in a villa on St. Barth’s, an in-home dinner with chef David Walford and Micky Poage on piano, a stunning electric blue painting donated by artist Carrie Fell, and a gorgeous strand of Baroque pearls with matching bracelet and earrings donated by The Golden Bear.

President of the board of directors Rev. Stephen Baird thanked contributors and sponsors and introduced the evening’s honorees, Jan and Lee Leaman, “who are continually inspired by the faithful who came before them in establishing these special places of worship, and feel blessed to be part of such dynamic communities of faith that will serve generations to come.”

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Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, galas and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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