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There wasn't a cucumber sandwich or lace doily in sight on Thursday night at the Wild Women Tea Party, a high-energy, girls-only gathering hosted by Lisa Rice on behalf of the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center. In fact, I'm not sure there was any tea served at all! Parked cars lined the block leading to the Rice home, and golf carts zipped around ferrying people to the front door. Inside, the largest group of guests to ever attend this annual party were greeted by the smiling faces of DNLCC staffers Dr. Libby Ralston, Beverly Hutchison, and Kathleen Flynn. The record crowd included longtime and new supporters alike, and the Guerry family could have won an award for its support of the cause with six members—Caroline, Cathy, Cile, Charlotte, Debbie, and Elizabeth—in attendance!

The party featured a wonderful array of hors d'oeuvres donated by Lowcountry Eats (collard green-wrapped pork "eggrolls" and mini crab cakes on skewers), and the bar was manned by Vince Gilmore, the fete set's favorite drink slinger.

Too often, the message or mission of the charity gets lost in the clamor of a gala affair, but that is never the case with a DNLCC fundraiser (although people still buzz about the puppy that sold for more than $40,000 at the DNLCC auction a few years ago). Midway through the tea party, guests took a break from mingling to learn about the programs and success attributed to the center, which works with a slew of agencies (medical, legal, and social services) in order to coordinate and advocate the best care possible for victims of child abuse.

Although this event was only for the ladies, everyone has a chance to support DNLCC on October 22 at its annual fall oyster roast. Check for details.