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Scene: A weekend of feel-good fundraising

Bingo, Buffet, and Bacon

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This week was pretty plentiful in the events category. On Wednesday, I headed over HoM for the restaurant's fourth birthday party. Most everything was $4, including sliders and birthday cake shots. They also featured PBR bottle service complete with champagne-style sparklers. A few rounds of bingo were played as well, though it was not your grandmother's version. Items listed on the cards were HoM in-jokes. While we played the final blackout round of bingo, a guy near us appeared to be working on a "blackout" of his own.

J. CHANDLER THOMAS
  • J. Chandler Thomas

Thursday I headed to The Alley to catch the rescheduled Gimme Shelter event. Operation Home is a cool concept. They reach out to older members of the community and make changes to their existing home in order to maintain accessibility — ramps for the disabled, widening of doorways, that kind of thing. Home Team supplied all of the food for everyone and more importantly, they supplied all of the mac and cheese for what I like to think was me. A silent auction was held as well and I actually won something for the first time in my 30 years: a bacon of the month club from Ted's Butcherblock. At first, I thought I was in the Griswold family, but then I realized that bacon would be delivered to my door. Monthly. And that is no jelly of the month club. Rather, it's something to be jelly about. All in all Gimmer Shelter had a great turnout and a great crowd. Everyone was in the spirit of giving while New Breed Brass Band provided quite the New Orleans-based soundtrack. The event ended up grossing around $57,000, which would presumably buy a lot of bowling pins.

J. CHANDLER THOMAS
  • J. Chandler Thomas

Friday night we got all Jimmy Buffet and headed down to Trio for their Margaritaville fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. Trio staffers took the party seriously and changed the interior to reflect an island lifestyle. There were inflatable palm trees, streamers, and, for whatever reason, buckets of Starbursts. Yes, I'm the one who took all the pink ones. The all-inclusive event had 120 attendees with raffle and door sales grossing over $4,500. Bremen Reeves, who underwent a double lung transplant because of the disease, had a chance to sit down and talk to me about it. Reeves was very candid and helped me understand Cystic Fibrosis. Turns out, finding one lung is not hard, finding two is tough. They also scale them, so they need to be approximately the same size.

Reeves was actually the star of a one-man show last year during Spoleto. Entitled Breathe, the play told the tale of his life and how the disease has effected him. If there was ever anyone that is just happy to be here, it's Brennan — and rightfully so. He said life is good now. Maybe 4.5 years ago, not so much, though he seems on his A-game and in the best of spirits.

J. CHANDLER THOMAS
  • J. Chandler Thomas

On Saturday, I missed the Pride parade, but did attend the after-party at Dudley's. Apparently I asked a stupid question wondering if the bar was open at 1 p.m. and was met with a resounding "Yes." Pardon me. I wasn't fully aware that Dudley's was basically the Waffle House of bars this week.

They had quite the crowd for that long after the parade and the music was, as it always is, fantastic. After having a libation there, I went over to Brittlebank for the official after-party. I had a fun little argument with a guy with one of those huge posters condemning everyone to the 9th layer of hell. He was nice enough, but I almost felt badly for him. He did not have a posse, and I was expecting the Westboro people to emerge from the water at any minute.

J. CHANDLER THOMAS
  • J. Chandler Thomas
J. CHANDLER THOMAS
  • J. Chandler Thomas

That night we all rained down on Silver Dollar to celebrate the life of one of our own, Gavin McBrearity for the first-annual "Gavinanza". If you did not know Gavin, you would be one of few in my certain circles. Loved by all, he passed away very unexpectedly from an infected heart valve that had been replaced prior. Yet another raffle ensued, though this one was truly epic. Beerworks, Coast, Rue de Jean, Republic, Halls Chophouse, Midtown, The Alley, Juanita's, Home Team, Fuel, Frampton's Flowers, Mellow Mushroom, Trio, Vineyard Vines, Ben Silver, Firefly Vodka, College of Charleston, Santi's, and more all donated to the cause. The unofficial count was roughly $5,300 was raised and all donated to MUSC's Children's Hospital. Gavin, having worked in healthcare, would have loved that. Undercover Brother was the band and they played most anything requested. Especially everything I was yelling at them. It was a phenomenal attendance for a first event and should be even better going forward.

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