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An incredible thunderstorm welcomed the second annual Charleston Waterkeeper’s Water Ball, but neither torrential downpours nor nickel-sized balls of hail deterred Charlestonians from putting on their finest and dodging the puddles to attend the one of this month’s most anticipated events.

The fabulous fete took place at the South Carolina Aquarium, where guests gathered to support Charleston Waterkeeper. While everyone present was very aware of the cause at hand, the chicly dressed crowd was content to see and be seen against the dramatic deep sea backdrops, while simultaneously appreciating local band Entropy Ensemble’s interpretation of Radiohead tunes.

Then it was off to snag some mozzarella and tomato skewers and a glass of sangria or a cucumber cocktail before bidding on the silent auction items. Guests roamed about the tanks, pausing to grab a raw oyster before making their way deeper into the aquarium where DJ Jeff ET was mixing hot tracks throughout the night.

Revelers lounged on plush sofas while taking in the deep sea tank’s large sharks, while another guest drew others’ attention to a surprisingly lively moray eel. The brightly hued sea creature swam back and forth before the glass, putting on quite a show, and one guest laughed, “He’s here to party!”

The Water Ball is an annual gala benefiting Charleston Waterkeeper, a citizen-based, environmental organization dedicated to protecting local waterways, fighting pollution, and supporting the public’s right to clean water. Charleston Waterkeeper was founded in September 2008 by Cyrus Buffum, and the organization is a local chapter of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.