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Brunch, history, celebrities, and chalk

From last year's Chalkfest

Elizabeth Licata

How would you like to have a Sabres alumnus pour you a cold one? Attend a lovely garden party? Dine and dance by the banks of the Erie Canal, or sip a drink on a portico? Whatever your taste, this summer’s offerings can accomodate charitable and cultured partygoers.


Summer Affair
Beneficiary: Hospice Foundation of WNY
6 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 at AcQua, 2192 Niagara St., Buffalo. Tickets: $50 per person; call Katie Whiting at 686-8090, or visit hospicesummeraffair.com.
Get your maracas out and come celebrate an evening with friends, co-workers, and family on the beautiful Buffalo waterfront. This year’s party will be served with a dash of salt and a hint of lime. There will be cocktails, light fare for food, a theme package auction, raffles, and live music from Hit ’n’ Run. Last year, over 500 guests came to enjoy this special summertime event. Designated Drivers of Buffalo will be on hand to take guests (and their cars) home if needed—so feel free to have as much fun as you want. All proceeds raised by the event will serve the mission of Hospice.


Beneficiary: Young Audiences of Western New York
August 3 and 4, on the 500 Block of Main St., Buffalo; contact event planners through the website at chalkfestbuffalo.com for more information.
The goal of this annual event sponsored by the 500 Block Association of Main Street is to draw people out of their homes and into downtown Buffalo to enjoy an entire city block transformed into a colorful playground for two days. Kids of all ages will have the chance to leave their mark on the city (if only temporarily), creating whatever their imaginations can come up with, while watching over the shoulders of Michael Macaulay and other local artists. Alice in Wonderland is this year’s theme; special events include tea parties and a Mad Hatter’s hat-making session.


Garden Party
Beneficiary: Brothers of Mercy
9:15 to noon on Sunday, August 4, at the Casilio Family Estate, 5930 Newhouse Rd., East Amherst. Tickets: $50 per person; call Audrey Nguyen at 759-7808, or visit brothersofmercy.org.
The beautiful Casilio Family Estate will again host this special summer event, welcoming more than 250 guests for a lovely morning mass and a beautiful brunch provided by the chefs at the Fox Valley Country Club. Local artists will be displaying their work, which guests will be able to bid on. There is also a raffle for a $2,400 pearl necklace. Wear your summer cocktail attire to this special brunch and enjoy strolling the estate along with your fellow partygoers. All proceeds support the charitable work of the Brothers of Mercy.


Discovery Gala and Auction
Beneficiary: History Center of Niagara
6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, at the Erie Canal Discovery Center/Penney Gallery, 24 Church Street, Lockport. Tickets: $50 per person; call Doug Farley at 439-0431 or visit niagarahistory.org
A special summer evening in historic downtown Lockport features al fresco dining within sight of the Erie Canal.  Guests will be treated to delicious cuisine, catered by the award-winning Shamus Restaurant, easy listening jazz, and a live and silent auction of antiques, paintings by regional artists, and spectacular entertainment and dining packages. The auction also features sports memorabilia personally signed by local former NFL star quarterback Jim Kelly. 


16th Annual Celebrity Bartending
Beneficiary: Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara
5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, at the Brickyard Pub & BBQ, 432 Center St. in Lewiston. Tickets: $10; call Cindy Hyde at 297-6400 x335 or check out opportunities.org.
Every year, a selection of local celebrities, including media personalities and sports heroes, come out and play bartender for a good cause. Do you want to see if your favorite anchor can concoct a decent Bahama Mama or pour a proper Guinness? (Hint: it’s a two-step process.) There will be live music on the patio, along with a buffet of delicious wood-fired BBQ finger food and a basket auction of donated items. All proceeds will help Opportunities Unlimited offer individuals with disabilities a chance to reach their full potential.


Party on the Portico
Beneficiary: The Buffalo History Museum
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, at the Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo. Tickets: $10; call 873-9644 x317 or check out buffalohistory.org.
Party on the Portico is a monthly event at the Buffalo History Museum featuring food, drinks, and live music. This week, enjoy a set by Toronto band Lowest of the Low’s front man Ron Hawkins. With the $10 admission fee, guests will enjoy appetizers, cheap drinks, and a set of indie songs from Hawkins. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at the museum. 21 and over. (716) 873-9644 x 0


Spree’s Hot Off the Press Happy Hour
Date: August 20
Time: 5:30 to 7:30
Location: Salvatore’s Italian Gardens
This is the first of a monthly series of happy hours that will launch each new issue. Mingle with Spree staff, writers, and the fascinating people featured in each new issue. Enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, drink specials, and a free issue of Spree. With a $5 donation to a local charity, you will also be entered to win a giveaway valued at $200. No reservations are necessary. Questions? Call 783-9119 x2202.


Buffalo Irish Festival
Dates: August 23–25
Time:  Friday 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday 12 to 11 p.m., Sunday 12 to 9 p.m.
Location: Canalside
The Buffalo Irish Festival is an annual celebration of Irish culture featuring Irish music, dance, food, and beverages in a festive atmosphere. The Festival includes two stages of continuous Irish entertainment from the US, Canada and Ireland. There is an opening parade on Friday, August 23, and throughout the festival, there will be Irish authors, traditional Irish foods and beverages, souvenir shirts, and a chance to win a trip for two to Ireland. Tickets are $10 at the door, and $6 in advance. buffaloirish.com/irishfestival.htm   




Terri Parsell Hilmey is editor of Spree’s Medical Resource Guide.

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