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A white carpet welcomed partygoers to the black-tie Charleston Signature Chefs Auction benefiting March of Dimes. After posing for a quick photo, guests were ushered into the ballroom at the North Charleston Embassy Suites for what can only be described as the ultimate gourmet smorgasbord.

The silent auction stretched across the front of the room, showcasing a number of tempting items, but the tantalizing smells wafting through air caught everyone’s immediate attention.

Tables upon tables stretched around the perimeter of the ball room, each offering a savory or sweet bite from one of Charleston’s renowned chefs. Each dish was delicious and beautifully plated, each more exciting than the next. Circa 1886 Chef Marc Collins made quite an impression with his playful offering: an incredible antelope Frito pie dished up in mini-Fritos bags!

On the opposite side of the room, a large crowd could be spotted eagerly awaiting Red Drum Chef Ben Berryhill’s BBQ leg of lamb tacos and Blu’s swordfish crudo with grapefruit and radish salad. Oak Steakhouse served up a protein-heavy sampling of braised shot ribs with bone marrow bread pudding, which was delightful, though a few patrons had some questions about bone marrow.

Charleston Grill Chef Michelle Weaver and Mickey Bakst enthusiastically greeted guests with bowls of elote corn, a refreshing, light vegetarian option in a room of scrumptious, rich foods.

Just as the first wave of food coma began to hit, the lights dimmed and a projector lit up with Lee Bruner’s inspiring story of her family’s struggle and triumph thanks to the March of Dimes support and assistance. The video was a gentle but powerful call to action, and more than one partygoer began bidding in the evening's live auction with misty eyes.

It was a beautiful, successful evening of food, friends, and support for March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded by President Franklin Roosevelt, March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy.

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