Historic Beaufort Foundation’s fundraiser goes virtual

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From staff reports

Historic Beaufort Foundation’s annual fundraiser may look a little different this year, but the popular Lafayette Soiree Auction will still offer fans lots to bid on.

Originally set to take place at the William Fripp House in Beaufort, the event has been transformed into an exciting online “virtual” auction with nearly 60 tempting items and experiences participants can enjoy now or in 2021.

“We were all disappointed not be able to host the 2020 Lafayette Soiree in the garden at Tidewater as originally planned,” HBF Executive Director Cynthia Cole Jenkins said. “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 annual event, which originated as a garden party more than three decades ago, is named in honor of the 1825 visit to Beaufort by General Lafayette.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier – better known as Marquis de La Fayette or simply General Lafayette in the United States – was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including Yorktown.

The event is one of two major fundraising events HBF hosts annually to generate revenue vital to meeting its preservation mission. Funds generated by the event have been used to save significant Beaufort buildings from demolition and ensure the preservation of many others.

This year’s auction will take place from Thursday, Dec. 3 to Sunday, Dec. 6 and will feature such unique experiences as a sumptuous “Mixta Paella” dinner party for 20 at a private residence overlooking Factory Creek and the Beaufort River and a week for two in the charming wine country village of Duras, France.

Also up for bid this year: many outdoor and eco-friendly options including fishing charters, fly casting classes, golf and kayak outings.

The auction offers something for every taste and pocketbook, planners say, from the spectacular vacations and “staycations” to spa days, Lowcountry art and photography, silk florals, Lowcountry cooking and spice collections.

Silver and Gold sponsors 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.

To really enjoy the fun, HBF encourages patrons to host their own “at home soirees” from the comfort of front porches, family rooms and parlors, where participants can bid on items or make monetary donations to support HBF’s mission.

For more information visit https://www.historicbeaufort.org/lafayette-soiree-2020. Unique auction items will be highlighted each day until the bidding opens on Dec. 3.