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Charlestonians love three things: mimosas, brunch, and supporting a local cause. Combine those elements with a live auction emceed by charismatic ABC New 4 anchor Tom Crawford, and you’ve got the makings of a fabulous charity event, namely last Saturday’s Shopping with Friends Brunch benefiting Lowcountry AIDS Services.

The fundraiser took place at the beautiful Historic Riviera Theater, which had been decked out for the holiday season to create a cheerful, dynamic space. The split-level venue featured a tantalizing brunch spread and pristine white tables punctuated with lush, brilliant red centerpieces on the lower level, while walking up a few short steps presented guests with racks upon racks of gorgeous vintage garments and jewelry for sale.

The atmosphere was fun and relaxed as people socialized between tables, perused the clothing booths, or went back for second servings of pecan french toast. The mimosas were flowing, however, and the energy kicked up dramatically as the live auction began. The bidding was fast and high, and one couldn’t help cheering on the bidders as the numbers quickly climbed into the thousands. The fiercest bidding war of the day broke out over 2 tickets to see country music giants Kenney Chesney and Sugarland, with the winning bid topping over $4,000.

While the majority of guests participated in the live auction by cheering on the high spenders, everyone got excited about the raffle items and door prizes. Whoops of delight broke out as winning tickets were held aloft, and several winners even skipped or danced their way up to claim their prizes. The brunch was a fantastic success, and each guest left with a gift bag, full stomach, and smile on their face.

The Shopping with Friends Brunch benefited Lowcountry AIDS Services, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS, providing HIV prevention resources, and providing practical and emotional support to those affected by AIDS.

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