A feisty crowd of Charleston bigwigs attended Saturday’s Shopping with Friends Brunch to benefit Lowcountry AIDS Services. I started off at the bar, where a woman saddled up beside me and copied my bloody Mary order, and then piped in devilishly, “spicy … like I like my men.” I (and the bartender) feigned mock embarrassment.

Those who forked over the $45 to attend were treated to quite a lavish brunch: Stella Nova provided complimentary manicures, two bars served up an inordinate amount of bloody Marys and mimosas, and a breakfast spread of eggs, bacon, and untouched pastries was not the end of it. The Riviera Theater was decked out with round tables and gorgeous flower centerpieces from Lotus Flower, and a raised section of the theater was cordoned off for shops like Cavortress and Candy Shop Vintage to display chunky jewels, handbags, and several racks of retro duds. Chances at door prizes like $100 to spend at Cru Café, Charleston Fashion Week tickets, and a Taashki clutch (won by Charleston magazine editor-in-chief Darcy Shankland) were awarded to all who walked through the door, but the big-ticket items were showcased in the live auction.

One do-gooder sap was convinced to pay $4,700 for two tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert, helpless against the auctioneer’s incoherent jabbering (and a good bit of peer pressure from his table companions). Tipsy philanthropists emptied their wallets for prepaid weekends on Kiawah and one stunning turquoise ring with a diamond-encrusted band. No doubt LAS made a pretty penny, and participants walked away with the heftiest gift bags this writer may have ever scored.