Put 10 of the biggest stars in the history of the USC-Clemson football rivalry in the same room with a mind-boggling collection of sports memorabilia and more than 400 fans of both teams, and what do you have?
Unless your name is Clyde Wrenn, probably an impossibility - but Monday night, it not only was possible; it was a happening.
Seawell's Restaurant was the site for "A Night with the Stars," a sold-out autograph session, silent and live auction, and early week tune-up for Saturday's 107th clash between the two rival schools. The place was packed, the buzz was palpable - and Wrenn, a former athletics department administrator at both schools, couldn't stop smiling.
Wrenn organized the fund-raising event as a way of honoring the trauma unit of Palmetto Health Richland, whose doctors had saved the life of his son, Cal, who suffered severe head injuries earlier this year. Judging by the turnout, he did it well.
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"Clyde is revered all across the state; he's the only guy who could pull this together," said Kerry Tharp, former sports information director at USC and now a media specialist with NASCAR, who flew from Florida to be master of ceremonies for the event.
"He's a master at organizing both schools for a common cause."
Besides tickets sales, silent auction items included signed footballs by ex-USC coach Lou Holtz, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and others; signed jerseys from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Baltimore Ravens lineman Terrell Suggs; and a cap signed by East Carolina coach Skip Holtz.
Also up for bid were a Philadelphia Eagles jersey signed by Vince Papale, subject of the movie "Invincible," and a basketball jersey from the movie "Semi-Pro" signed by star Will Ferrell. Both were donated by Hollywood sports-stunt organizer Mark Ellis, brother of USC play-by-play announcer Todd Ellis.
"We don't have a (target) figure" from the fundraiser, said Joni James, who ran the auctions. "But we're going to donate it all to the trauma unit."
Wrenn, one of the rare individuals with close relationships with both schools, was everywhere before the doors opened: organizing, greeting and saying thanks. Speaking earlier to his all-star lineup - former Clemson coach Danny Ford and USC Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers among them - Wrenn had to choke back tears of emotion.
"Y'all will never know how much I appreciate you being here," he said.
Then Wrenn's organizer background kicked in. "All right, guys," he said, "we're trying to raise as much money as we can tonight."
With that, Ford and Rogers - plus former USC stars Ryan Brewer, Harold Green, Corey Miller and Jeff Grantz, and Clemson's Steve Fuller, Chris Gardocki and Jeff Davis, all wearing replica jerseys - headed to the main ballroom to sign, pose for pictures and remind the overflow crowd what USC-Clemson is about.
"Clyde called and said, 'Can you do this?' and I said 'yeah' before I knew what it was," Ford said. "He wanted to give credit to (the Palmetto Health Richland) people, and have a fun evening."
Robert and Hayley Bowers, USC fans from Lexington, said they came "to support the cause, plus we want to get a few autographs," she said. Clemson fans Scott and Pam Kirby of Gaston and their son, Devin - "he's a Tigers diehard," Scott said - had heard about the evening on radio.
"It's been my lifelong dream to meet Danny Ford," Scott said. They came away with the coach's signature on a helmet, football, book and poster.
Corey Miller, who runs a ministry in addition to a sports talk show, said he appreciated Wrenn's desire to help recognize "doctors who often go unnoticed. But that's no surprise; Clyde's always been a positive, good person."
He looked around at the crowd and smiled. "This wasn't a hard deal for me," he said.
All in all, it seemed a pretty good deal for everyone.