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This year’s Shopping With Friends Holiday Brunch returned with an elegant, sophisticated air. The late morning fete was held at the Riviera Theater, and guests entered to find themselves in awe of a gorgeous Christmas tree before making their way upstairs, where they were welcomed with mimosas.

Partygoers circulated among the tables, exchanging holiday greetings and admiring the exquisite floral displays. Then Lowcountry AIDS Services’ Executive Director Brad Childs took to the podium and welcomed the crowd.

Brunch was served, and everyone headed to the buffet to heap their plates high with grits, eggs, and sausage before stopping by the bar for a fresh mimosa or Bloody Mary. As the meal drew to a close, Childs introduced the LAS video. The testimonials were heart-wrenching and heart-warming by turns, and one couldn’t help feeling love and enthusiasm towards the cause as the live auction began.

Auctioneer Tom Crawford took the mic, and the bidding began. Several bidding wars broke out, and a 3-night package to Napa was sold twice for $4,500.

The morning concluded with the Red Ribbon Spirit Awards. Graphic designer Gil Shuler received the Creative Award, while Pearlstine Distributors took home the Business Award and Dr. Thomas Funcik was given the Individual Award. Charleston magazine and Cumulus Media received Media Awards, Cyndee Cave received the Spirit Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Karen Siegel.

The Shopping With Friends Brunch was part of the 8th Annual Shopping with Friends Red Ribbon Holiday events benefiting Lowcountry AIDS Services (LAS). LAS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with HIV and AIDS and to providing HIV prevention resources and programs for schools, churches, community organizations, and the workplace in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties.

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