Buffie Bell Lilly….if her name isn’t enough to draw you in, her infectious energy will be! Her face should pop up next to the word humanist in the dictionary. And if my word is not enough, then know her by her fruit. This woman is everywhere.
The bubbly ex-cheerleader and Clemson alum doesn’t credit becoming Charleston’s favorite matchmaker and social butterfly to herself, or even her sociology degree. She attributes her need to serve people, to know them, to watch them grow, to her loving parents. Buffie adores her father and mother (whom recently lost her battle with cancer), and believes they taught her to love people. Buffie tells me, “Mom drilled in my head that no matter who someone is, they bring something to the table.” This small idea is one that in this day and age seems so hard for people to grasp at times. The social norm isn’t to always treat others with respect and relativity, but Buffie does. She is the first to invite other women to networking events, to welcome newcomers to the area, and to reach out and lend a helping hand. Perhaps this is why she came to be the “Hitch” of the Charleston area. She just cannot help but connect people. She says, “I don’t want my name in lights. I just want people to get together and succeed.”
Buffie didn’t recognize all of these wonderful qualities about herself at first. She just went with what felt natural to her. She found herself while cheering for her high school football team, presiding over her student body council, being voted vice president of her sorority, dreaming of becoming a country music singer, travelling the country as a medical professional, and eventually taking her biggest role as a wife and mother. Her “ah-ha” moment didn’t come until she was watching the SEVENTH couple she’d set up take their vows. Then she realized she had knack for the purest, yet most complex form of human connection…the romantic relationship. She yearned to help people find their other halves, and is now the greater Charleston area’s favorite way to make that happen.
If you haven’t met Buffie yet, you might catch her singing the national anthem at The Joe, or maybe just chasing her kids around the playground. You might run into her at Fashion Week, or at a wine tasting. You may see her at your next business event…but I guarantee, if you leave your bedroom, you WILL see her somewhere…and she cannot wait to see you! Buffie leaves us with, “In this community that I love so much, it’s about promoting connectivity. I’m equally about the matchmaking and the friendship side. I’m your wing woman.”
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by Lorna Hollifield