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Operation Home is a sterling example of what a small group of compassionate people can accomplish when time, energy, and resources are pooled to make a positive impact on the community. For the past 12 years, this grassroots organization has facilitated emergency home repairs for people in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties. From installing air conditioning units and building handicap ramps to patching leaky roofs, Operation Home has assisted more than 50 families.

The sold out crowd that attended the nonprofit group's fifth annual fundraiser on Sunday night was a resounding affirmation that, despite the economy, people are still supporting agents of positive change. I found the casual atmosphere and attire refreshing amid a charity circuit heavily weighed with glitzy galas and ball gown edicts. A delectable array of passed hors d'oeuvres and a help-yourself taco bar featuring wood grilled chicken, corn tortillas, Cotija cheese, pico de gallo, toasted pumpkins seeds, spicy cabbage slaw, toasted Pasilla chile salsa, and mango relish really showed of Chef Ben Berryhill's flair for regional flavors.

The comfortable outdoor seating and unseasonably warm(ish) weather lured people to the expansive patio during the silent auction, but the nip of night air sent everyone into the main dining room in time for the live auction. Coach Bobby Cremins helped kickstart the auction with a pair of highly sought after basketball tickets, and the tandem team of Doug Warner and Loren Ziff kept the subsequent items moving at a rapid pace. Several bidding volleys sent bursts of excited energy zinging around the room, and when a guitar signed by the members of Hootie and the Blowfish sold, the room erupted in concert-worthy cheers. Good show!