From staff reports
Historic Beaufort Foundation has announced that the popular Lafayette Soiree Auction will go virtual this year due to the ongoing challenges with COVID-19.
The fundraiser will take place from Thursday, Dec. 3 to Sunday, Dec. 6, allowing supporters to get ahead of the holiday rush with unique gifts. HBF has transformed the 2020 auction into an exciting online event, with nearly 60 items and experiences to enjoy now or plan for 2021.
Living up to the Soiree auction’s stellar reputation, this year’s auction lots include such unique experiences as a sumptuous “Mixta Paella” dinner party for 20 at a private residence on the bluff overlooking Factory Creek and the Beaufort River and a week for two in the charming wine country village of Duras, France near Bordeaux.
Those wishing for experiences closer to home will love the many outdoor and eco-friendly options presented this year including fishing charters, fly casting classes, and golf and kayak outings. The auction offers something for every taste and pocketbook from the spectacular vacations and staycations to spa days, Lowcountry art and photography, silk florals, Lowcountry cooking and spice collections, and much, much more.
HBF encourages patrons to host “at home soirees” this year from the comfort of their front porches, family rooms and parlors, and to bid on items, or make monetary donations, to support HBF’s mission of preserving, protecting, and presenting sites and artifacts of historic, architectural, and cultural interest throughout Beaufort County.
The Lafayette Soiree is one of two major fundraising events HBF hosts annually to generate revenue vital to meeting its preservation mission. The Soiree, which originated as a garden party more than three decades ago, is named in honor of the 1825 visit to Beaufort by General Lafayette. Funds generated at the event have been used to save significant Beaufort buildings from demolition and ensure the preservation of many others.
“We were all disappointed not be able to host the 2020 Lafayette Soiree in the garden at Tidewater as originally planned. As we adjust to life with COVID-19, HBF is truly excited to announce that the always anticipated auction will be held virtually in December. The revenue HBF generates from the Soiree auction is essential to supporting our preservation mission,” Historic Beaufort Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Cole Jenkins said in a release. “We are grateful to the many members, friends and businesses who annually support HBF by graciously donating auction items each year. This will be our first virtual event, and we encourage everyone to join in bidding on the many special auction items that are available this year. Plans are already under way for the 2021 Lafayette Soiree which will be announced in the New Year.”
The Historic Beaufort Foundation has 28 sponsors for this year’s Lafayette Soiree online auction event. Silver and Gold sponsors this year include Farm Bureau Insurance; John and Danielle Troutman, The Clark-Troutman Group – Merrill Lynch; Lynn & Wheeler; O’Quinn Marine Construction; Phifer Construction; Powell Brothers Construction; Southern Tree Service; First Federal Bank; J. H. Hiers Construction; Mercedes Benz of Hilton Head; Modern Jewelers; Lesley Francis PR; and Amazing Rental.
Be sure to check the HBF website for unique auction items highlighted each day until it’s time to open bids on Dec. 3. For information on the Historic Beaufort Foundation and the Lafayette Soiree Online Auction, visit https://www.historicbeaufort.org/lafayette-soiree-2020.