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March 2011 Fundraisers & Charity Events

Enjoy a Mardi Gras mambo or an Elizabethan feast, party in an empty mansion, sample wines of the world, or experience a pleasurable case of mania. All of these festivities benefit our local cultural organizations, which need public support more than ever.

4th Annual Mardi Gras Jam
Beneficiary: Music is Art. 7–11 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at the Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. Tickets: $23 in advance, $25 at the door; call Tod Kniazuk or Caroline Barry at 880-3374 or visit www.musicisart.org.

Part of the “Big Easy in Buffalo” concert series, this year’s event will have a great selection of bands, including two headliners: Louisiana blues singer and guitarist Tab Benoit and roots rocker Erin Lindell. During their stay in town, Benoit and Lindell will also work with students at a local school who seldom get a chance to interact with professional touring musicians of this caliber. All proceeds benefit Music is Art’s performance and educational programs.

Black Tie Gala
Beneficiary: The Junior League of Buffalo. 7 p.m.–midnight, Saturday, March 5, at the Bayliss-Oshei Residence, 360 Depew St. (corner of Depew and Beard). Tickets: $90; call Pamela Rossi Chrzanowski at 884-8865 or visit www.jlbuffalo.org.

The Junior League and the Buffalo News have teamed up again for their biennial event, the Decorators’ Show House, which has already raised over $3.2 million for community projects. The Bayliss-Oshei Residence will be tricked up to resemble Rick’s Bar from Casablanca, with live entertainment as well as themed cocktails, beer and wine, food stations, and passed hors d’oeuvres. As soon as the party’s over, the decorators move in and begin the transformation before the finished house opens on April 30. Proceeds from this sneak preview will be pooled with the rest of the Show House proceeds and used to fund a significant community project.

6th Annual Wines of the World
Beneficiary: Rotary Club of Buffalo and Buffalo Rotary Foundation. 6–9 p.m. on Friday, March 11, in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans. Tickets: $50 pre-sale or $60 at the door; call John McClive at 854-3397 or visit www.buffalorotary.org.

The Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser returns with fabulous food from WNY’s finest restaurants and samplings of new wines. There will be live and silent auctions to browse while enjoying the fare from the various food stations, wine selections, and craft brew beers. All proceeds benefit the Club’s mission to support multiple community projects, including Cradle Beach, the Food Bank of WNY, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo, Goodwill Industries, Rotary Rink, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Rowing Boathouse, among others.

Beneficiary: Buffalo Arts Studio. 7 p.m.–1 a.m. on Saturday, March 26, at the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main St. Tickets: $25; call Angela Hall at 833-4450 or visit www.buffaloartsstudio.org.

Already one of the most exciting spots in Buffalo, the former Trico factory turned multiuse facility plays host to a variety of bands, dancers, and lots and lots of art during this more-or-less triennial event. Be on the lookout for food, wine and beer, and some of the finest talent in the region on all five floors of the building. Everywhere you look there will be a new surprise to delight your eyes and ears. Buffalo Arts Studio has lost a lot of its funding in the new Erie County budget, so this event plays a key role in their long-term survival. Proceeds benefit BAS, its education programs, and its ongoing advocacy for art and artists.

17th Annual Fabulous Feast
Beneficiary: Shakespeare in Delaware Park. 6–10:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 at the Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut St. Tickets: $65 for SDP members, $75 for non-members; call Lisa Ludwig at 856-4533 or visit www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org.

When was the last time you had a five-course Elizabethan feast, along with period dancing, juggling, and sword fighting? I suppose if you attended this event last year, it wouldn’t really be that long ago. But if you’ve never experienced this one-of-a-kind gala, you’re in for a remarkable evening, with guests encouraged to dress in period costumes (many, many do!), and entertainers everywhere to make sure the spectacle is unsurpassed. This year’s feast will raise sorely needed funds for the endangered free Shakespeare in Delaware Park outdoor festival, which has entertained more than 1.5 million people in its thirty-five-year run.

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