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Christmas came early (or late, depending on how you look at it) to the Sand Dunes Club this year, when the Friends of Santa group celebrated their 30th anniversary with a lovely evening of food, drink, and dancing.

The gala welcomed partygoers with a Christmas tree and snowflake-adorned tables, and guests snagged a drink before heading back to check out the silent auction. Everyone lingered around the silent auction items and hors d'oeuvre tables, where they snacked on miniature sandwiches, cold cuts, veggies, and other savory bites from Hamby’s catering between auction bids.

Guests caught up and rubbed elbows throughout the night, and the crowd was equally comprised of newcomers and veteran supporters. “I played Santa Claus for ten years,” declared Friend of Santa Bill Tene.

Back in the main hall, the crowd gathered to listen to some lively covers from the East Coast Party Band. Professional dancers punctuated the crowd, luring more partygoers to the floor with their dynamic moves. Partygoers shimmied, twisted, and grooved the night away, with the Fantastic Shakers wrapping up the evening’s festivities.

Friends of Santa is a locally run non-profit organization with no paid employees. Founded in 1980, the group strives to support families in need East of The Cooper, as well as contributing to Meals on Wheels, Sandpiper Nursing Home, East Cooper Outreach, Inter-Faith Ministry, and Windwood Farms Home for Boys.