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"A 'cane's a'comin'!"* yelled a guest as the eager crowd surged against the South Carolina Aquarium's locked entrance gate during a wind-whipped ten minute wait between the end of the Dear John movie premiere at the Hippodrome and the after party. Indeed, it was like standing in a tropical storm wind tunnel as mighty gusts toyed with the hemlines of frothy party dresses, teased the ends of beauty parlor hairdos, and stirred the crowd into a frenzy.

Once the padlock came off, all bets were off as guests of all ages dashed toward the entrance. The younger set was clearly starstruck and on the hunt for actors Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, both of whom had addressed the crowd prior to the screening and were presumably headed to the party. The more mature set? They were a bit starstruck too—an octogenarian with a white knuckle grip on an autograph book pushed past two twenty-something party girls in line for the step-and-repeat, but mayhem was averted when the three twitterpated ladies exchanged grins and quick chit chat about the handsome leading man.

The pigs-in-a-blanket were great. Of course, they were part of the spread prepared by Cru Cafe, so they were anointed with a savory mustard that elevated their status from lowly biscuit-rolled-pork product to the realm of delectable finger food. It was dimly lit in recesses of the S.C. Aquarium, and a gaggle of prep school girls squealed upon sight of the recognizable nosh. The adults, meanwhile, gravitated toward the tender pork bellies and piquant lobster rolls and the open bars, which were plentiful. It was quite a scene. And while this little touch of Hollywood was enough to warrant the clamorous excitement exhibited by the hundreds of attendees, the special local premiere benefitted a wonderful Lowcounty charity—Carolina Autism.

One of the movie's narrative threads revolves around a father and his autistic son, a role that was played by then six-year-old Daniel Island resident Braeden Reed. With an impish smile, which he flashed at his many well-wishers, Braeden was by far the most charming guest in attendance at Sunday's event. Praised by the directorial team and his fellow on-screen actors for his "great improvisation," Charleston has a true star in its midst. Kudos, Braeden!

Proceeds from the sold out event ($250 per person) will help fund Carolina Autism's early intervention program, which assists young children, like Braeden, with autism and their families.

Read more about Carolina Autism:
http://www.carolinaautism.org/

Check out the trailer for Dear John, which opens nationwide February 5:
http://www.dearjohn-movie.com

*"A hurricane is coming!"

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