Off The Clock: Having fun for a good cause

With the giving season under way, charity galas, wine-and-dines and a whole manner of fund-raiser soirees are taking place across the state. Not only do these events make for a great evening out, your admission price, silent auction bid or raffle ticket purchase go to a great cause.

Here are some of the premier events planned for this holiday season:

Sixth annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auctions: Join the March of Dimes for four evenings of fine wine and gourmet cuisine presented by top chefs around the state. Live and silent auctions will include weekend getaways, restaurant packages, sports tickets, air plane tickets, gift baskets and more. The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. For information on either of the auctions, contact the March of Dimes, 800-287-0317 or marchordimes.com/newhampshire.

Manchester Chefs Auction,, 6-9 p.m., Nov. 1, Wayfarer Inn, Bedford. Tickets: $30 each or $300 for a table of 10.

• Concord Chefs Auction, 6 to 9 p.m., Nov. 18, Courtyard by Marriott Grappone Conference Center, Concord. Tickets: $25.

• Lakes Region Chefs Auction, 6 to 9 p.m., Nov. 30, Winnipesaukee Expo Center, Laconia. Tickets: $20.

• Nashua Chefs Auction, 6 to 9 p.m., Dec. 15, Crowne Plaza, Nashua. Tickets: $35 each or $300 for a table of 10.

Third annual Upper Room Family Matters “Evening of Stars” Auction.
Start with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and an auction item preview, then follow with a seated dinner and live entertainment. Over 250 silent and 40 live auction items including a week’s stay at a condo and a 1964 Red Sox baseball signed by the entire team – including Carl Yastrzemski, who signed twice! The Upper Room provides services, education and community connections to strengthen individuals and families. 5:30 to 11 p.m., Nov. 5, Promises to Keep, Derry. Tickets: $50 per person or $100 per couple. Contact: Kimberly Bavaro, 437-8477 or urteachers.org.

Third annual Taste of the Towns Wine Tasting Event. Sample over 150 wines and cuisine by local restaurants at this event hosted by the Nashua Center for the Multiply Handicapped. Bid on hundreds of unique gift items including golf and ski packages, sports memorabilia and artwork by local artists. The Nashua Center has been providing adult care services and early childhood intervention to those challenged with multiple handicaps and their families since 1974. 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 5, Nashua Marriott, Nashua. Tickets: $50. Contact: The Nashua Center, 883-6163 or nashuacenter.org.

Third annual International Cuisine and Wine Extravaganza. The Mt. Washington Valley Business & Professional Women is holding its annual food and wine event featuring appetizers prepared by local chefs and wines from around the world. Live music and silent and live auctions for inn getaways, locally-crafted jewelry and artwork, quilts and more will be a part of the gala evening. BPW of the Mount Washington Valley provides education, scholarships and health-care services to women in the North Country. 6 to 9 p.m., Nov. 9, New England Inn, Intervale. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at door. Contact: Tina Craig, 323-2908, bjrret@yahoo.com or bpwmwv.com.

Second annual Palace Theatre Auction for the Arts. Support children’s programming at the Palace Theatre by placing your bid on vacation packages, holiday gifts, a kayak and even a car! Hors d’oeuvres and 90-cent drinks in commemoration of the theatre’s upcoming 90th anniversary will be served. The historic Palace Theatre is one of New Hampshire’s most prestigious performance venues and provides educational programs to youth through performance and dramatic productions. 6 to 9 p.m., Nov. 18, Palace Theatre, Manchester. Tickets: $20. Contact: Palace Theatre, 668-5588 or palacetheatre.org.

Horse Power Wine Tasting Gala. Top tables from the Monadnock Region will be dishing up hors d’oeuvres to pair with over 150 wines at Horse Power’s fundraising gala. No auction here, just a good time with good food, live music and great wine. Horse Power combines therapeutic riding and learning experiences to aid those with special emotional needs, physical challenges or learning disabilities. 5:30 to 7 p.m., Dec. 2, Peterborough Town Hall, Peterborough. Tickets: $50. Purchase in advance in strongly suggested. Contact: Horse Power, 654-6308 or horse-power.org.

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua Holiday Auction. Greater Nashua BGC starts the evening with a silent auction, and follows with a filet mignon and lobster dinner and live auction. Some of the items up for bid include a two-night stay for 20 people (take the whole office!) at the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa, a four-night stay in San Antonio, ski packages and gift certificates to local restaurants. The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua inspires and enables young people to realize their full potential. 5:30 to 9 p.m., Dec. 4, Sky Meadow Country Club, Nashua. Tickets: $100 per person, $1,000 for tables of 10. Contact: Denise King, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua, 883-0523 x217 or bgcn.com.

Easter Seals VIP Wine Makers’ Dinner and Winter Wine Spectacular benefit Easter Seals with two separate events. The black-tie VIP Wine Makers’ Dinner at Wentworth-by-the-Sea pairs a menu by the area’s premiere restaurants with wines from featured vineyards. The Winter Wine Spectacular at the Center of New Hampshire-Radisson Hotel will have wines from around the world and food from local restaurants as well as music, entertainment and silent auction. Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 80 years. Wine Makers’ VIP dinner, 7 to 10 p.m., Jan. 26, Wentworth-by-the-Sea-A Marriott Hotel & Spa, New Castle. Tickets: $100 per person. Winter Wine Spectacular, 6 to 9 p.m., Jan. 27, Center of New Hampshire-Radisson Hotel, Manchester. Tickets: $35 per person. Contact: Easter Seals, 623-8863 or 888-368-8880 or nh.easterseals.com.

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