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This year marked the 30 year anniversary of the discovery of HIV/AIDS, and the 9th annual Shopping with Friends Kick-Off Brunch. Partygoers found the Riviera at Charleston Place decked with holiday cheer and the main ballroom filled with beautiful red floral arrangements. 

Each person was greeted with a mimosa on their way into the party, and everyone chatted and mingled over drinks until the brunch line opened up. Then guests enjoyed eggs, grits, bacon, pastries, and fresh fruit while being welcomed by Lowcountry AIDS Services Executive Director Brad Childs. 

Childs then debuted a video detailing the history of AIDS over the last 30 years and a number of statistics regarding the continued battle against the HIV/AIDS virus. The sobering but moving video was followed by this year’s awards. Tamara Bolding was awarded Volunteer of the Year, Jill Barnes was honored as Employee of the Year, Vanessa Goodwin received the Spirit Award, and Carolyn Murray took home the Community Advocate Award. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went home with Frank McCann

As the applause died down, auctioneer Tom Crawford kicked off the live auction. A number of funny moments punctuated the auction, and the ever-charitable Nancy Bush found herself in a bidding war with... herself! Crawford got down on one knee to encourage the bidding, and then later egged on a different bidder saying, “Do you need a mimosa? Let me grab you a drink!” 

The lovely morning drew to a close and each guest left with a swag bag as a thank you for supporting Lowcountry AIDS Services. 

Lowcountry AIDS Services (LAS) is the only organization in the tri-county area that deals with the entire effect of AIDS, including prevention, counseling, helping clients get treatment, finding housing, and securing legal help. LAS strives to provide practical and emotional support to people with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends, and loved ones.