4th Annual Water Ball
Esteemed chefs, Band of Horses, and fashionable guests gathered in support of Charleston Waterkeeper, a nonprofit helping to protect our local waters
By Molly Hutter
As a warm breeze blew in from the Charleston Harbor Friday night, the South Carolina Aquarium’s spacious back porch filled with ladies and gents dressed in high style for the 4th Annual Water Ball, hosted by Charleston Waterkeeper. After being welcomed with a glass of champagne, party-goers spent the alfresco cocktail hour soaking up striking views of the harbor, noshing passed hors d’eouvres, sipping on ICEBOX’s signature spirits, and enjoying background music courtesy of a string trio.
Before heading inside for the main event, executive director and founder of Charleston Waterkeeper Cyrus Buffum took to the mic to welcome guests, thank the evening’s list of local sponsors, and raise a toast to the night’s mission: to help keep Charleston’s waters swimmable, drinkable, and fishable.
After that, guests made their way inside the aquarium, where 30 local chefs waited with delicious fare at the ready. Food stations lined the hallways of the venue and offered bite-size tastes of a variety of dishes, including halved-oysters stuffed with country ham, sweet corn, and onion from Peninsula Grill, duck comfit sliders by Fish Restaurant, and shrimp larb from Ted’s Butcher Block.
After having their fill, guests stopped by the bar, scoped out aquarium exhibits, and hit the dance floor—where, around 10 p.m., all focus shifted when the evening’s special musical guests, Creighton Barrett and Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, arrived for an intimate, acoustic performance. Guests sang along to the Charleston-based band’s three-song set, which ended with their popular “No One’s Gonna Love You,” then finished the night out dancing to oldies and current hits alike.
Before leaving, party-goers threw on life vests and captain hats and cheesed for the camera in the photo booth—a lively reminder of the evening’s aquatic motif and the group’s passionate mission to protect local waters. On her way out the door one guest said to a friend, “I’m just really proud that this is happening in Charleston.”
The Water Ball is an annual event benefiting Charleston Waterkeeper—a nonprofit organization devoted to the quality of local waters, including the Charleston Harbor, the Ashley, Cooper, Wando, and Stono Rivers, and other coastal areas. The group carries out patrol and water quality monitoring programs, and is part of the worldwide Waterkeeper Alliance.