By Linda Cameron

The glitz of the presidential inaugural ball has become a moment in history. Now, it’s time to don evening wear for a fundraising bash. This year’s fundraisers have plenty of glitter. Some are star-studded. These optional black tie events are fun fests where you also look your best.

Star Gala 17 
The Depot Minneapolis
225 South 3rd Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(952) 992-5513
Date: Apr. 22, 2017 at 6 p.m.

Star Gala is an annual benefit for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. This year, proceeds from this event will support the Children’s new Critical Care Interfacility Ground Transport Program. The benefit will feature silent and live auctions and testimonials from physicians and patients. Donations for the auctions are welcome. Dinner, wine and a live band round out a lively evening. Black tie is optional. For more details about the gala, getting to The Depot, donating items for auction, volunteering or becoming a sponsor, contact the event coordinator.

AuSM Gala In Minneapolis
Doubletree Minneapolis
1500 Park Place Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(651) 647-1083
Date: Apr. 28, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $75

The Autism Society of Minnesota sponsors the AuSM Gala. A benefit for those affected by autism, this fundraiser features food, drinks, games and a silent auction. The event also celebrates individuals living with autism, and their supporters, who are inspirations to their community. Contact the event organizer for more information and directions to the Hilton Hotel Minneapolis Park Place.

Oxygen Ball 
105 North 1st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(651) 337-5098
Date: May 11, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $225 single ticket; $2,500 (10 tickets) per table

Millions are affected by lung diseases, such as lung cancer, COPD, asthma and interstitial lung infection. The Oxygen Ball, sponsored by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, is an evening of fun, festivity and fundraising. The money raised supports research, education and patient programs. The gala itself features a cocktail reception with silent auction and art show, dinner and live auction, and dessert and entertainment.  Valet parking is complimentary. Guests are asked to wear semi-formal attire with a touch of turquoise. Black tie is optional.

Related: Best Ways To Get Involved With Breast Cancer Awareness Month In Minnesota

La Grande Jatte Soirée 
Guthrie Theater
818 South 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 225-6160
Date: June 23, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Cost: $500 per guest; $1,250 per guest for the VIP experience; other ticket options available

Proceeds from this grand summer evening event support educational programming for the arts, and community engagement in support of the arts. The evening features a VIP reception, Bernadette Peters’ pre-dinner musical prelude, dinner, opening night curtain and a dazzling after-party. The benefit itself is a prelude to the opening night of a summer musical. For more information about the reception, program or dinner options, contact the theater’s event coordinator. Again, black tie is optional.

Dining In The Dark Fundraiser
Stillwater KC Hall
1910 Greeley St. S.
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 491-9737
Date: Oct. 28, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $15 – $30

This event raises funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at Stillwater. Guests are encouraged to wear their best Halloween costumes and enjoy dinner in the dark. You won’t need a black tie for this one. The price of admission gets you a three-course meal, a cash bar, music, entertainment, and a costume contest. Yes, this is no candlelit dinner – no candles or flashlights.  For some, it’s a little scary. For others, it’s a sensational sensory awakening. Eventbrite is the event coordinator.

Related: ‘Ramen Attack’ Is One Delicious Fundraiser


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