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Party Scene

Photographs By: Leigh-Anne Drago


Kacie Meixel

January 28, 2016

The Party: With over 5,000 votes submitted, it's safe to say that the first annual "Charleston's Most Eligible" event was a success, and winners Ben Gochnauer and Laura Cole hold the first title. Guests mingled with other local socialites through an evening set to music, and participated in a raffle for prizes submitted from many community businesses. One hundred percent of proceeds from the event benefitted the Ronald McDonald House.


Highlight: Guests were able to get their most pressing (and perhaps embarrassing) questions answered about the dating scene from matchmaker, Buffie Lilly, owner of Charleston Winepairings. 


Overheard: In case you're wondering, according to Buffie the best places to meet singles in Charleston are at "the art walks downtown [because they're] totally free, and girls will be impressed by guys' willingness to go," and at "The Alley! You get to go bowling and check out his/her butt." 

January 28, 2016

By: Grae Adair

The Party:

Guests were welcomed with a classic 1940s style Cadillac and transported to an evening back in time at the Society 1858 of the Gibbes Museum of Art's legendary Stork Club Party. Live jazz music filled the room as guests browsed and engaged in the opportunity to win original works of art donated by local artists. Hamby's Catering provided a delicious array of hors d'oeuvres and cocktails were mixed by Cherryshine Whiskey and Holy City Spirits. 


As the evening progressed, 1940s flapper girls took the stage for an exciting and edgy performace.


"This looks as if it were a scene from a Mad Men party!" --Woman discussing Albert Dorne's art work 


1859 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art 


By Grae Adair

January 30, 2016


The Party: 

The Charitable Society of Charleston hosts its annual oyster roast for a cause, this year benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Charleston Visitor Center bus shed was packed with guests and tables of freshly steamed oysters, ready to be shucked. Guests were entertained with music by Dan's Trampstamp and the Money Bags while sipping on beverages from Blue Point Brewing company and enjoying hot dogs and chili. Once guests were full on food and oysters, a laser skeet shooting range was set up for those who wanted to test their aim. 


All proceeds from the event, including raffles, went to Big Brothers Big Sisters, a mentoring organization that serves children in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. 


"It's my birthday, one of my favorite bands is playing and this is all for the kids!" 


Big Brothers Big Sisters

Hooper Schultz

January 20, 2016

The Party: The 2016 Charleston Wine + Food festival kicked off to a fun start with this fête at Leaf revealing the official festival poster by Whitney Kreb, as well as the official cocktail competition winner. Partygoers sipped on four diverse takes on the French 75 by the competition finalists before the top drink was revealed.


Highlight: Guests were able to meet Kreb, get a first-hand account of how she was inspired to paint the original design, and take home their own signed print of the official 2016 festival poster.


Overheard: “When I’m tasting a cocktail, I try to not only think about ‘Is this interesting enough to put on my menu?’ but also, ‘Would a broad range of palates enjoy it’?” —Megan Deschaine, bar manager at 492

Hooper Schultz

December 5, 2015

The Party:  Lowcountry Local First members came out to the soon-to-open Park Circle wine bar Stems and Skins Wednesday night, for a chance to mix and mingle with like-minded business owner and employees as well as to try out the new venture from former Husk sommelier Matt Tunstall. 

The Highlight: Hand-picked wines flowed generously while beautiful plates of cocktail food—pickles, pâtes, and cheese— kept partygoers beyond satisfied.

Overheard: "I hear that last Golden Ticket prize is at Utopia!" - Sherman Evans, owner of Utopia Boutique

Hooper Schultz

December 5, 2015

The Party:  Guests shared an undersea evening with the permanent residents of the South Carolina Aquarium while supporting the South Carolina Ocean Alliance’s education and conservation efforts. Guests participated in fun games at this carnival-themed event with an open bar, sustainable small plates from a number of Good Catch partner's, live music by DJ R-Dot and electric violinist Seth G., and silent as well as live auctions.

The Highlight: Aquarium staff traveled through throngs of guests with pettable wildlife for an up-close and personal encounter with some of our state's more elusive creatures.

Overheard: "I never realized how much research the aquarium does on wildlife above the water as well as below!"


Ellen Butler

November 21, 2015

The Party: Local vendors lined the courtyard of Lowcountry Local First, showcasing some of their best items as local bands jammed on stage and food trucks provided guests with yummy eats and drinks.

The Highlight: Over-21 guests wet their whistles at the endless Bloody Mary bar and a beer tent featuring many local breweries 

Overheard: "We are lovers of the lowcountry, so we're all about strengthening our community by supporting and advocating for our local entrepreneuers and farmers in any way we can. We think they're some of the coolest people we know!" -Lowcountry Local First Board Member


Ellen Butler

November 20,2015

The Party: Guests gathered at the Wild Dunes Golf Resort for an oyster roast complete with live music, a wine bar, and a buffet with all the fixin's for a lowcountry spread. The event also featured a silent  auction and a raffle, all benefitting Lowcountry chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Highlight: A Komen-themed pink vespa was auctioned off to a lucky winner of the silent auction.

Overheard: "I am a Komen volunteer and a survivor, and it's so great to see everyone out here supporting the cause for the cure."


College of Charleston alums and friends convened at the Gaillard Center for a three-course dinner and awards ceremony honoring some of the College's most illustrious gradutes

Ellen Butler

November 13, 2015

The Party:  This year's Moon Party was nothing short of stellar. Guests got a sneak peak of the new Susan Klein and Jiha Moon exhibits while enjoying heavy hors d'oeuvres from Whole Foods, an open bar courtesy of ICEBOX, and music from Bill Carson and White Lightening at the Halsey's 11th annual membership celebration.

The Highlight: Guests posed in front of the signature Moon backdrop for free pictures by Sully Sullivan.

Overheard: "Wine, art, and live music... I couldn't ask for a better evening!"


Ellen Butler

November 14, 2015

The Party: Guests enjoyed Charleston's best music, food, drinks, and more at this outdoor party benefitting the Charleston Parks Conservancy at a colorfully bedecked Cannon Park. Neon lights, a dance floor, outdoor bars, and food tents with samples from local favorites like Magnolia's, Grill 225, and Cacao's Artisan Chocolatier set the scene as guests enjoyed live music and browsed a silent auction featuring items like local art, an honorary park bench at the newly rennovated Colonial Lake, and a seven-day vacation in Mexico.

The Highlight: Fire spinners wowed guests with pyrotechnic performances.

Overheard: "It's truly amazing to see how much the people of Charleston care about our beautiful city. We really appreciate everyone's efforts to preserve care our historic parks." --Monty Schwartz, CPC Volunteer


November 5, 2015

The Party: The Charleston Horticultural Society's annual benefit dinner and auction at the Founders Hall at Charles Towne Landing was an evening filled with music, celebration, and planning for the future. A live and silent auction help to support educational outreach including lecture series, seasonal worskshops, and the Growing Minds Program, which encourages gardening in schools. Salthouse Catering provided a beautiful charcuterie display during the cocktail hour and silent auction followed by dinner including acorn squash ravioli made-to-order.

The Highlight: The live auction, which feautured such fun packages as an "Escape to the Coast of Ireland," and a Live Taping of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, was an exciting way to end the evening and raise money for a great cause. 

Overheard:  "Wow these nachos with cream corn sauce have totally changed my oinion about pulled pork, they're amazing!"

Beneficiary: Charleston Horticultural Society     

October 27, 2015

The Party: Community arts incubator Enough Pie and BoomTown kicked off their five day popup art installation with a preview party Igniting SOUND + LIGHT.  Area creative groups including Charleston Character Dance Company and the Charleston Guild of Gentleman Puppeteers performed. Food was provided by The Workshop, Roadside Seafood, Tattooed Moose, Brown's Court, and Lowcountry Creamery.

The Highlight: Craig Colorusso's SOUND + LIGHT installation explores the interplay between the senses in space with his otherworldly light boxes and ambient sounds in this provoking exhibit.

Overheard: "I'm so impressed by the different creative players who came together to put this on!"


The Party: After 40 years of service to the Charleston community, Mayor Joe Riley will be retiring from his position. The city threw him a huge party to celebrate and thank him at the aptly named Thanks Joe! farewell event. To go along with the carnival theme of the event, clowns, jugglers, and acrobats could be found throughout Brittlebank Park. The ferris wheel and fun slide were popular attractions for the guests, especially those with children. Food truck vendors came out to serve the crowd some amazing food as well.

The Highlight: The Mayor mingled with guests who were encouraged to take a selfie with him and of course say, "Thanks Joe!"

Overheard: "Charleston is an amazing city and Joe Riley is the #1 reason for that."

Ellen Butler

October 15, 2015

The Party: Charleston celebrated its big 4-0, ’70s-style with a swanky soirée at the new Gaillard Center. Guests donned their grooviest garb and enjoyed great food, drinks, entertainment, and a live auction.

The Highlight: Charleston’s own Elise Testone got guests on their feet with a showstopping performance to end the night.

Overheard: “Is that a trapeze artist pouring champagne?”

Beneficiary: The Campaign for MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital

September 25, 2015

The Party: James Beard Award-winning chefs Art Smith of Table Fifty-Two in Chicago and Charleston's Mike Lata of FIG design a four-course meal along with dessert by chef Lauren Mitterer of WildFlour Pastry. The event, hosted by Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh, also a fellow James Beard Award-winner, featured a reception with select tastings from Charleston chefs such as Craig Deihl of Cypress and Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder. Between the reception and dinner, attendees participated in a silent auction; items up for bid included a Nespresso Machine cookware from Le Creuset, and luxury vehicles from Baker Motors.

Highlight: James Beard Award-winner Nathalie Dupree, author of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking and host of over 300 international and national cooking shows, attended as a VIP. 

Overheard: "Have you tried this fish taco? It'll change your life!"

Ellen Butler

October 11, 2015

The Party: More than 20 of Charleston’s most renowned chefs teamed up with Share Our Strenth’s No Kid Hungry campaign for a special multi-course dinner with a cause: ending childhood hunger in America. Guests took their seats at tables in the Cedar Room and dined on specialty dishes like cauliflower and truffle flan with lobster, mango, vanilla, and endive from chef Marc Collins of Circa 1886, and veal cannelloni with carrots and coffee crumble from chef Nate Whiting of 492.

Highlight: Chefs Jeremiah Bacon and Michael Perez auctioned off a personally-catered, in-home dinner for 12 people.

Overheard: ”Food insecurity in America is a prevalent problem, but it is also a solveable problem.” —Debbie Shore, Share Our Strength Co-founder

Beneficiary: Share Our Strength 

September 27, 2015

The Party: Held at the Daniel Island Club, this glamorous event featured designer shopping from local brands, savory food bites, wine tastings, and a live auction featuring pieces showcased on the runway during the day’s fashion show.

Highlight: More than $60,000 was raised for Florence Crittenton. Some guests even donated up to $2500—enough to pay for a young mother in need to spend a month at the home for unmarried mothers and their babies.

Overheard: “Just driving in here—so beautiful!”

Beneficiary: Florence Crittenton

September 18, 2015


The Party: Attendees at the 3rd Annual Bag Lady Luncheon in The Cedar Room enjoyed a delicious meal from Tristan Catering and Events and participated in a silent auction featuring more than 75 new and vintage handbags with suprises inside of each. A live auction and elegant fashion show presented by Finicky Filly rounded out the charitable event benefitting the Charleston Ronald McDonald House, a nonprofit organization that provides a place to stay for families with children undergoing extensive medical treatment. 


Highlight: Guests—and even Ronald McDonald himself—took to the catwalk to showcase select items.


Overheard: “Ohh look at her channeling her inner Anastasia Steele—Mr. Grey will see you now!”— the auctioneer in regards to a woman strutting her stuff on the catwalk


Beneficiary: The Ronald McDonald House