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In 1791, just one year after opening its doors as America's first publicly funded orphanage, the Charleston Orphan House attracted the attention of President George Washington, who visited the facility. During the same trip to the Holy City, Washington also dined at McCrady's Long Room. Last Thursday night, the two institutions converged for the sixth annual A Night for the Children gala fundraiser.
The orphanage is known today as the Carolina Youth Development Center, a name that better represents the six residential programs, two outreach programs, and various support programs sustained by the organization, all of which assist more than 600 young people every year. Several such young people were stationed by the door to greet guests and sell heart-shaped pin raffle tokens, and their smiling faces served as a wonderful welcome to the affair.
Both of the restaurant's second floor dining spaces (the Long Room and The Gallery) were open to the party with carving stations, a band, and a silent auction spread between the adjoining rooms. Incidentally, the Long Room had undergone a quick turn-around that afternoon having hosted Charleston magazine's Giving Back Awards earlier that day.
As the silent auction drew to a close, a bidding war broke out over a pair of VIP Colbert Report tickets. Luckily for everyone—bidders and CYDC alike—the donor confirmed the availability of two additional pairs, and each set quickly sold for $750 apiece. Good show!