Friends helping Friends of Hunting Island

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Friends Lauren Tillapaugh and Janet Garrity are teaming up to help some other friends, the Friends of Hunting Island. Tillapaugh and her husband own Sweetgrass Restaurant and Bar on Dataw Island and Garrity is the author and photographer of the newly released book, “Goin’ Down the River, Fish Camps of the Sea Islands.” The two have joined together to sponsor a luncheon to benefit the Friends of Hunting Island on Thursday, October 25, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Sweetgrass.

The luncheon will feature a creative “upscale fish camp” menu and a presentation by Garrity about her experiences photographing and researching fish camps and making her book, followed by a book signing.

A portion of the proceeds from both the luncheon and book sales during the event will be donated to the Friends of Hunting Island.

Tillapaugh and Garrity both came to Beaufort from Ithaca, N.Y.; Garrity in 2008 and Tillapaugh in 2010. Neither woman knew of the other when they were leading parallel lives in Ithaca. It wasn’t until Tillapaugh, and her husband Jeff, opened Sweetgrass that Garrity became acquainted with the couple. Then, the Tillapaughs moved into Coosaw Point on Lady’s Island not knowing that Garrity and her husband, Bud, lived there too.  “It was as if fate was putting Janet and me together to become friends and neighbors,” said Tillapaugh, a graduate of Cornell University with a Masters of Hospitality Management.

Before Tillapaugh moved to Beaufort, she was the director of marketing and events at the upscale Aurora Inn, just north of Ithaca. Garrity was vice president of account services for Garrity Communications in Ithaca.

“We often stopped at the Aurora Inn for business lunches or with friends,” said Garrity, “so Lauren and I must have crossed paths, but it wasn’t until we both ended up in Beaufort living in the same neighborhood that we got to know each other.”

“It just seems like a natural progression of events that put Janet and I together,” said Tillapaugh, “And we are both very happy to use our resources to help support the Friends of Hunting Island. It’s friends helping friends.”

For reservations for the “Lunch by the River,” call 843-838-2151 before Oct. 20.

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