After six years of new relationship bliss, my husband and I found ourselves in a romantic rut. We would go from dinner at the kitchen counter to a marathon of our favorite shows. Then I uttered the fateful words that would change the course of our social lives forever: “We need to get out more,” and poof! As if the universe was one big cosmic genie, we went from couch potatoes to gala regulars.
Now, supporting charities is not exclusively for the high society or royalty — unless you’re a bonafide Queen, then I guess you’re automatically in. Many local philanthropic organizations have networking groups and host educational events, after parties and (best of all) elaborate galas. All of these range in price point, and there are many benefits to supporting them. Not only can you dance the night away at a fabulous ball, make new friends and hob knob with local movers and shakers, but you also get a nice tax deduction while supporting very worthy causes.
When you stop to examine the rising cost of dinner, drinks and movie theater tickets, I find the cost of admission or membership to these organizations is quite reasonable. Most of these galas and charitable events include dinner, performances, educational presentations and open bars, and, let’s be honest, who can’t drink their way through the cost of a ticket?
So, this season — I invite you to join the Traberts on the charitable dance floor, because my motto is, “Life is one big gala. You only need to RSVP to attend.” Here are a few of our picks this season.
Be Our Guest
I recently discovered the hidden gem that is the LGBT Visitor Center. Not only do they host unique educational events at their Miami Beach office, you can host your own event there, too. But their pièce de resistance is the Annual Pink Flamingo Awards. This year’s affair — at Jungle Island on September 24th — will include an open-bar cocktail reception, three-course dinner and live entertainment. Later in the year, take an unwrapped toy to the 7th Annual Holigay Celebration and Toy Drive to benefit the Miami Beach Police Departments’ Children’s Holiday Relief Fund and get in the holiday spirit.
Friends with Benefits
Inject some romance into your relationship with the sweet sounds of the New World Symphony. Friends of New World Symphony is a hip and vibrant group that enjoys concerts and chic social gatherings that range from dinners to musical yoga classes. A must-see is the PULSE series — a late-night lounge, complete with club-style lighting and artsy videos set to classical music. Members are invited to additional events throughout the year and enjoy steep discounts to other NWS events, including the annual NWS Gala, which will take place in February.
Movin’ on Up
There is nothing like watching the trained and sculpted bodies of the Miami City Ballet dancers take the stage. Join Miami City Ballet’s Upper Room, and receive two complimentary tickets to two performances — see you’re already booked for two nights! Monthly events range from pre-show lectures and post-show receptions to exclusive opportunities to meet company dancers.
Coming of Age
Get your ball gowns ready, or whatever outfit fits Julian’s Reverse Quinceañera theme this year. The over-the-top benefit pageant is one of Fort Lauderdale’s hottest LGBT events, so grab your date and watch as not-so-talented locals compete for the title of Ms. Reverse Quinceañera while raising funds for this year’s charities, including the Renand Foundation, The SMART Ride and Citizens of the World and Selfless Acts of Kindness.
Even More Noteworthy Organizations
Voices for Children beavoice.org
Science Museum frostscience.org
Big Brothers Big Sisters of miami bbbsmiami.org
Adrienne Arsht arshtcenter.org