Sept. 2

Ericka Dunlap, the reigning Miss America, and other contestants in the 2004 Miss America Pageant will appear at a luncheon (a three-course meal and a one-hour autograph session) at the Washington Marriott. The event will be presented by Kohl's Cares for Kids to benefit Children's National Medical Center. Tickets: $60 ($100 for a pair). Call 202-884-4243 or visit

Sept. 8

The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses' Celebration of Leadership -- held in connection with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 34th annual Legislative Conference -- is at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and will honor Nancy Wilson, former Illinois representative Cardiss Collins, Darlene Richeson, Bernadine Ballance and the late Mervyn Jones. Tickets benefiting CBC Spouses' scholarships are $250. General admission tickets: $50. Call 202-263-2800 or visit

Sept. 9

"Lollapa-moo-za," a Friends of the National Zoo's Young Professionals after-hours gathering at the zoo, will feature the music of Rude Buddha and Another Brother, food, a cash bar and a chance to check out Kids' Farm, the newest exhibit at the zoo. The event benefits the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Tickets at the door: $15 ($10 for FONZ YP members). There's a discount for tickets ordered by 2 p.m. Sept. 9. Call 202-673-4637 or visit

Sept. 10

The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses' Benefit Concert is at the Washington Convention Center. Scholarship tickets: $250. VIP seating tickets: $100. General admission: $55.

The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses' Evening Fashion Show is at the Grand Hyatt. Scholarship tickets: $250. Regular tickets: $85. Call 202-263-2800 or visit

"Jewels of India," the Wolf Trap Ball 2004, will be held on the Filene Center Stage. The evening benefits Wolf Trap's education programs. Tickets: $350 and $800. Call 703-255-1940.

Sept. 11

The Washington National Opera Gala Dinner at the Kennedy Center takes place on opening night of the company's 49th season and follows the WNO's first production of "Andrea Chenier" by Umberto Giordano. The dinner includes dancing to the music of Glenn Pearson and His Orchestra. Opera tickets: $100-$1,180. Call 202-295-2400. Gala Dinner tickets: $500. Call 202-295-2486.

R. Lee Ermey is host of the Gunny's Ball Gala & Auction, a benefit for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and the Young Marines youth organization. The event offers cocktails and dinner at the Madison Hotel followed by a party at the National Association of Home Builders headquarters. Tickets: $150. (There are discounts for military personnel.) Call 866-702-5480. The ball takes place on the second day of the R. Lee Ermey Celebrity Experience, presented by the History Channel. For information on all the events, visit

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual Awards Dinner at the Washington Convention Center honors Thomas Dortch, chairman and CEO of TWD Inc. and national chairman of 100 Black Men of America Inc.; Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University; and Danny Cameron, a vice president of National City Corp. Tickets: $750 (the price includes the after-dinner gala). Tickets to the gala alone: $60. Call 202-263-2800 or visit

"Evening Under the Stars," a benefit for CASA of Greater Prince William, advocates for abused and neglected children, is at the Loy E. Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas. Entertainment: Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Pals Orchestra, with performances by Chou-Chou and the Three Girlfriends. Tickets: $60 until Sept. 1 or $75 afterward. Call 703-330-8145.

Sept. 13

An Evening of Jazz, the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert, will benefit the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and take place at the Kennedy Center. A cast party follows. Hosts: Herbie Hancock and Billy Dee Williams. Tickets: $300, $500 and $1,000. Call 202-636-8745.

"Dog Days of Summer Happy Hour," sponsored by Hinge, Total Strategy and Canine Caterers, is at the Washington-Dulles Airport Marriott Pavilion and benefits the Homeless Animal Rescue Team. Tickets: $30 (dogs are free). Call 703-378-9655.

Sept. 14

The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts' eighth annual "Noche de Gala" dinner honoring writer, director and producer Gregory Nava is at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel. Tickets: $1,250. Call 202-293-8330.

Kathleen and Chris Matthews are the featured speakers at the 11th annual benefit for the Nairobi, Kenya, Nyumbani Orphanage. The event takes place at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. Tickets: $250 ($125 for guests 25 and under). Call 703-934-8534.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's second annual "Reyes of Comedy Night" at the Warner Theatre features performances by comedians Pablo Fransisco, Jill-Michele Melean and Noe Gonzalez. Tickets: $150. Call 202-543-1771.

Sept. 15

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's annual gala takes place at the Washington Convention Center in conjunction with the organization's 2004 Issues Conference. It will honor Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, and Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first vice president emeritus of the United Farm Workers, and will feature entertainment by Albita. Tickets: $500. Call 202-543-1771.

Sept. 16

"An Evening of Smiles" is a benefit for Operation Smile, an organization dedicated to repairing childhood deformities. The event is at the Chinese Embassy's Ministry of Education Center. Tickets: $150. Call 202-338-6100, Ext. 122.

Sept. 17

St. Coletta of Greater Washington's "High Hopes Ball" at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel supports the organization's educational and therapeutic services for individuals with mental retardation, autism and secondary disabilities. Tickets: $200 ($225 after Aug. 30 until Sept. 10). Call 703-683-3686 or visit

The Cosmopolitans' singles cocktail dance, a benefit for the American Cancer Society and other charities, is at the Embassy of Austria and features the music of the Deanna Bogart Band. The organization presents a series of dances for single professionals over 40 that benefit national and local charities. Tickets: $45 ($50 at the door, if space is available). Call 703-522-5344 or 703-379-6137.

The Arts Council of Fairfax County's 2004 International Children's Festival Gala -- held in connection with the 34th annual International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap, which is Sept. 18 and 19 -- is at the Hilton McLean, Tysons Corner. It will feature a reception, a special international dinner and a show featuring entertainment by international student performing groups. Tickets: $200. Call 703-642-0862, Ext. 3.

Sept. 18

The Crystal Ball, the Young Benefactors of the Smithsonian Institution's 15th annual Black Tie Gala & Silent Auction, is at the National Postal Museum. Tickets: $95, $115 and $195. Call 202-786-3260.

Roberta Flack is the entertainment and Sam Donaldson is the host of the American Cancer Society's "Simply Elegant Gala" at the Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C. Tickets: $350. A 2005 Hummer H2 and a diamond necklace with matching earrings will be raffled. Call 202-483-2600, Ext. 153.

Sept. 20

A "Sugar and Champagne Affair," a benefit honoring the Washington Humane Society's Animal Rescue Team, is sponsored by Equinox owners Ellen and Todd Gray and will be held at the Fairmont. Tickets: $75. Canine companions are welcome. Call 202-723-5730, Ext. 227.

The Washington Performing Arts Society's Season Opening Celebration, a concert at the Kennedy Center by soprano Kathleen Battle with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and other guests, will be followed by a reception with the artists. Tickets: $250. Call 202-293-9325.

Sept. 21

WAMU's (88.5) 25th anniversary celebration of "The Diane Rehm Show" at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium will benefit the Diane Rehm Fund for Public Dialogue. Tickets: $500 and $1,000. Call 202-636-8743.

Sept. 22

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 26th annual Ambassadors Ball, which honors members of the diplomatic corps, is at the Grand Hyatt. Tickets: $350. Call 202-296-5363.

The Greater Washington Sports Alliance's SneakerBall is at MCI Center. A Shoe Shop Reception & Silent Auction precedes the ball, which features an awards ceremony honoring regional sports figures, dinner and games. The event will raise funds for local charities that use sports for the betterment of Washington youth. Tickets: $250. Call 202-857-5995.

Sept. 23

The Children's Inn at NIH's 16th annual gala is at the National Building Museum. The Inn serves as a refuge for seriously ill children being treated at NIH and their families. Tickets: $1,000. Call 301-229-0064.

Childhelp USA Children's Center of Virginia benefits from the sale through Aug. 23 of tickets to the Cirque du Soleil benefit performance of "Varekai" on the grounds of RFK Stadium. Tickets: $100. Call 703-208-1500 or visit

Sept. 25

"Through the White House Gates to River Farm," the American Horticultural Society's annual gala, is at George Washington's River Farm, the society's headquarters in Alexandria. Tickets: $200. Call 703-768-5700.

Sept. 26

The National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Ball Concert at the Kennedy Center celebrates Music Director Leonard Slatkin's 60th birthday. The artists participating are Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Michel Camilo, Sir James Galway, Joseph Kalichstein, Katia and Marielle Labeque, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, Elmar Oliveira, Peter Schickele, Jeffrey Siegel, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Pinchas Zukerman, Murry Sidlin and associate conductor Emil de Cou. Ball tickets start at $1,000 (which includes admission to the concert). Call 202-416-8102. Concert tickets are $10-$77. Call 202-467-4600.

Sept. 27

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian's First Nations Night Gala Reception -- the grand finale of the museum's opening week -- will be held at the museum and is a fundraiser for the museum's education initiatives. Tickets: $250. Call 202-633-6990.

"Beginnings," a gala celebration at the Folger Shakespeare Library to benefit the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, features a reception, followed by readings by Ron Carlson, Jennifer Egan, Colin Harrison, Jim Lehrer, Colum McCann, Azar Nafisi, Joyce Carol Oates, ZZ Packer, Grace Paley, Ann Patchett, Caryl Phillips, Porter Shreve, Monique Truong and Daniel Wallace, and dinner. Tickets: $400 and $1,000. Call 202-636-8745.

Sept. 28

The second annual Champion to Champion Awards Gala, a benefit for the Lupus Foundation of America, is at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. Tickets: $500. Call 202-349-1155 or visit

Sept. 29

The Spina Bifida Association of America's 16th annual Roast for Spina Bifida at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill honors broadcast journalist Bernard Shaw. Walter Cronkite will be one of the roasters. Guests can bid on trips and more at a silent auction. Tickets: $500. Call 888-837-8777.

"A Parisian Promenade," the Women's Committee of the National Symphony Orchestra's Decorators' Show House Preview Party on the lawn of Chateau Peyrene de Moras in Potomac, benefits the orchestra's educational and community outreach programs. Tickets: $125. Call 202-966-4986.

Sept. 30

Celebrating Life: An Evening With Michael Bolton, the Second Genesis 35th anniversary benefit gala at the J.W. Marriott, honors Kendel Ehrlich. Tickets: $500. Call 301-563-1545, Ext. 317.

The Institute for Policy Studies' 28th annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards at the National Press Club Ballroom honors Military Families Speak Out and Seymour Hersh. There will be a presentation by Isabel Morel de Letelier. At 9 p.m. guests are welcome to watch the first presidential debate on a large-screen TV. Tickets start at $45. Call 202-234-9382, Ext. 235.