It came as no surprise to my parents the following year when I told them that I wanted dress-up as Cinderella for Halloween. My mom fed right into it. None of this cookie cutter, costume from a box thing. Nope, she went out and found me a discounted formal ball gown. She had to pin it together and cut about 10 inches off of the bottom because I was just a little thing at age seven - but I had my dress, my crown and my gloves, and man did I feel like a princess as I strutted from house to house trick-or-treating with my brothers (I remember my mom telling me the dress cost $20 and I thought I was wearing the most high-end, expensive dress ever. Ohhh, to be a kid again).
Fast-forward 24 years (don't do the math) and the little girl in me still loves to put on a ball gown, attend a formal event, and dance the night away. And our dear city is the perfect place to do this. It seems like there's a black tie this or a gala that just about every time I turn around. And even better? So many of these event are hosted by organizations to raise money for worthwhile causes. Dress up fancy, bring a hot man as your date, and support a charitable organization? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
As I was dress shopping for an upcoming gala I'm attending, I started thinking about how many black tie events happen nearly every weekend in Washington, yet so many people (including yours truly) never know about them. This prompted me to do some digging. Read on for a list of upcoming galas/ balls in and around the District. Sure, most are a bit pricey, but hopefully you will find one that works with your schedule, you can spend a night supporting a worthwhile cause, and feeling like a princess. Which is important to do every once in a while...
9th Annual Champions Gala
Oct. 20, 2012
National Theatre (Downtown)
Details: The National Inclusion Project and Co-founders Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel are hosting this event. Special guests include Debbie Gibson, Arsenio Hall and American Idol Ruben Studdard. Along with performances by Clay and the special guests, the event will feature "send-a-kid-to-camp" auctions and funds raised will be used to open doors for children with disabilities. By conducting programs with community partners, the Project teaches others how to be inclusive so that kids with and without disabilities can experience lifelong benefits.
Washington Ballet's Dracula Soiree
Oct. 5, 2012
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (McPherson Square)
Details: Hosted by Sara Lange, Indira Merhpour, Nasim Deylami and Ava Deylami, this event is considered a "highlight of Washington’s fall social season" and attracts many influential dignitaries and arts patrons. Guests will be treated to cocktails, a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, and performances by The Washington Ballet.
Tigerlily's Annual EmPOWER Ball
October 20, 2012
McLean Hilton (Virginia)
Details: This annual event raises funds for for the Tigerlily Foundation. This organization's mission is to educate, advocate, empower and provide support to young women ages 15-40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer. This event will feature a live auction, silent auction, dinner, and entertainment by singer Tanya Dallas-Lewis.
Halloween Gala and Party at the Italian Embassy
Oct. 28, 2012
Italian Embassy (north of Dupont Circle)
Details: Hosted by Things To Do, this event will feature an Italian themed evening with an open bar, Halloween themed treats, a live deejay and dancing. The evening will begin with an hour of traditional ballroom-style music you would find in an authentic Venetian ball. But, when the witching hour hits a little later, the haunts begin with today’s biggest dance hits. In addition, there is a option to come in costume or masquerade.
American Heroes Ball
Nov. 10, 2012
National Press Club (south of McPherson Square)
Details: This ball will feature an open bar and hors d'oeuvres with live performances by American Idol finalist Ayla Brown and West Point Cadet deejays. The event will include a silent auction and raffle with prizes including a private tour of the Capitol by Ayla Brown’s father, Sen. Scott Brown, wine tastings and wine baskets from local Virginia wineries, jewelry from Premier Designs, a vacation cabin in Deep Creek, Md., various specialty gift baskets and more. All proceeds will benefit Not Alone, a nonprofit specializing in helping veterans suffering from PTSD.
Annual Kidney Ball
Nov. 17, 2012
The Omni-Shoreham Hotel (Woodley Park)
Details: This event will feature gourmet dining, live and silent auctions, open bar, dancing and a special performance by Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles). More than 1,000 people are expected to attend, and funds raised through the event support ongoing programs in medical research, patient and community services, professional and community education, and organ donation awareness.
And, yes, I had to have someone help me add in the crown to my avatar (after I spent a solid 30 minutes last night trying to figure out how to do it), but don't I look cute?