Where there is a cause, there is a charity and where there is charity, there is a party. Pick your favorite charity—arts in schools, AIDS research, animal welfare, tinnitus, or whatever—and find out if there is a fundraising gala in the near future. If you want to party, these gala events can be excellent places to meet people who are like-minded and generally well-dressed. You will get good karma from supporting a cause you believe in, and maybe make a friend or two. Oh, and not to mention, charity galas are total celebrity magnets.

Just a sample of upcoming events you can purchase tickets for:

The Adopt-A-Minefield Benefit Gala
October 15, 2004
Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Hosted by Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney. Tickets to this event are steep ($500) but this will be the hobnobbing event of the season.

The Lower Eastside Girls Club's 7th Annual Benefit Gala and Willow Awards
October 18th, 2004
Capitale, New York, New York

Get your camera ready! With Rosario Dawson as Mistress of Ceremonies and guests like Billy Crudup and Chloe Sevigny, this gala is an A-List party for the downtown crowd.

Holiday Benefit Gala, Benefiting the Lesbian Health Research Center
December 11, 2004
San Francisco Jewish Community Center, San Francisco, California

The second annual Holiday Gala, featuring Suede.

The Debutante Ball Season

On The O.C. last season, Marissa scared the pants off of Ryan when she showed her true upper-crust colors by demanding he take her to the Cotillion. Dictionaries across the nation came out as teen viewers tried to decipher the meaning of "cotillion." In the O.C. it means a fashion show and fundraiser, not too far off the current interpretation of the American debutante ball which replaces old fashioned sexism with philanthropy. There are still deb balls that adhere to a strict social protocol, where girls are introduced to polite society. The St. Petersburg, Florida, Presentation Ball, still finds girls escorted by their brothers and doing a curtsey for their mothers.

The St. Petersburg Presentation Ball
January, 2005
St. Petersburg, Florida

The Society Balls

Our trusty editor Sarah was going on and on about the existence of huge Cinderella-like balls in Vienna where common folk and upper crusties alike can purchase tickets and waltz the night away. She had me convinced that this was a purely Viennese invention, this co-mingling of status for the sake of bow ties and petticoats. After a bit of digging, I discovered that Society Balls in the U.S., like those in Vienna, are actually open to anyone. Tickets to these balls are not cheap, dinner and dancing can run you $450, while dancing only is usually $125 and up. And this is not including the white gloves and other high-class accouterments that are essential for these event if you don't want to stand out like a commoner. Oh, and you do need to know how to dance, so we suggest you rent Strictly Ballroom since you will have to spend your rent on a Vera Wang gown—a small price to be a princess for a night. For more information about the U.S. and Vienna Ball Seasons, check out
Some upcoming balls:

Scottish Fall Ball, October 2, 2004, Genealogical Society, New York, New York

Viennese Walz Ball, November 13, 2004, San Francisco, California

Kaiserball, December 31, 2004, Vienna, Austria

-Compiled by Alisa Welch


Party Issue Features:

:: History's Greatest Parties ::
:: Your First Dinner Party ::
:: Getting In With the In Crowd::
:: The Truth About Frat Parties ::
:: Miss Dixie Longate Throws a Mean Tupperware Party ::
:: It's Not Strange To Throw Your Dog a Party ::
:: How To Set The Whole Thing To Music ::

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