Guests at the 24th annual Cabooty Holiday Party kicked off the holiday season Friday night with the gift of giving–bidding high on locally donated prizes to support Camp Happy Days, a Charleston non-profit for children with cancer.
Set in the classic Memminger Auditorium off of King Street, the annual event has been a seasonal staple for Camp Happy Days supporters for over two decades. Since 1982, Camp Happy Days has been more than just a summer camp for children—it’s a lifeline for Charleston kids diagnosed with cancer. The non-profit supports children and their families with cost-free yearlong programs aimed at improving their physical, emotional and psychological health. From Disney Trips to personalized family reunions, the organization relies on generous donations and the support of local contributors.
Charleston sponsors mingled through the vast auditorium, lingering over the items up for auction, sampling a spread of southern hors d’ouerves from local restaurants Swig & Swine and Graze, and socializing under the lights of the stage. The band Super Deluxe played against a backdrop of glowing pictures of smiling children, luring suits and sparkling dresses to the dance floor. Laughing guests grabbed air guitars, oversized glasses and mustaches, lining up for their chance in the photo booth, while others took a place at the special VIP tables, sipping champagne to the music echoing throughout the hall.
Donated items for the silent auction included highly sought after sports memorabilia, the most popular on display being the Jadeveon Clowney, Cam Newton and Lebron James autographed Jerseys. Excited fans hoping to win an early Christmas present bid on a Gamecock’s signed football, a Tahj Boyd Clemson helmet and a Clemson prize pack. Other gifts donated by local businesses caught the attention of the women–from jewelry by Southern Gates to exercise classes at Pure Barre and Charleston Power Yoga. Many people paused at the unique feather bowties from Brackish, the private tour of the H.L. Hunley Submarine and popular restaurant certificates from Leaf, Cupcake and Wild Wing Café.
The silent auction was followed by a spirited live auction hosted by Auctioneer Kevin French, featuring a Boston Red Sox David Ortiz jersey, an oceanfront beach vacation, a fishing trip, a 100-person catered event from Swig & Swine, Kickin’ Chicken Food Truck, a private event on The Carolina Girl yacht, and the most distinguished gift–Sponsoring a Child–the value listed as “priceless.”
After the bidding, Alann “Cabooty” Cabading addressed the crowd to thank everyone for their continuing support. The party’s namesake, and a survivor of childhood cancer, the Camp Happy Days counselor founded the event in his apartment as a small tree trimming party. Twenty four years later, the now much larger holiday event continues to be one of the most vibrant and charitable gatherings of the season.