My wife and I don't go "out on the town" that often. In fact, we hardly ever hire a babysitter so that we can go out to dinner or to a movie or show or anything, so it's always a perfect storm when the annual fund raiser for Cystic Fibrosis comes around. Horrible disease. Great night out. http://www.withonebreath.org/
One of my wife's former co-workers basically runs the event. Her eldest daughter has CF and it's a strong passion she has to find a cure. For the past six years, they've put on a pretty big fund raiser, with bands playing, a silent auction, and several raffles, in addition to a few kegs of beer, appetizers, and some "free" blackjack. Basically, it's just plain cool.
We've been to the event at O'Gara's Bar & Grill in St. Paul the last several years and really enjoy it. The music is pretty good, the food is nice, and the beer is free :) ... okay, so you pay an event fee to get into With One Breath, but the only cash I threw around for the rest of the night was for tips ... and for the silent auction, technically, I guess.
In 2010, we brought along our neighbors and had some fun with them. After a trip with all four of us through the silent auction area, the two men strolled through one last time near the end of the bidding. When we got back to the women, we told them about bidding on The Billies, a band. First reaction: "oh, cool ..." Second thoughts a few seconds later: "What are we going to do with a band!?!" Anyway, for 2011, I was instructed not to bid on any bands. (I didn't.)
My wife and I went alone again this year, but we always enjoy talking to Jill, my wife's ex-coworker who is the event coordinator. And we seem to have settled on the one thing we will be bidding on every year.
See, it's this nice hotel in downtown Minneapolis. And in 2010, in addition to bidding on the band, I also bid on a Twins' Tickets / Hotel Stay combination. We ended up being able to do the Twins game in the spring (saw our first Twins game from row 17, behind the backstop, if I remember correctly) and the Grand Hotel stay in the fall (for my wife's birthday). In 2011, the Grand Hotel stay was packaged in combination with Guthrie Theatre passes. We won ... again. :) Needless to say, another "grand" birthday present for my special woman :)