1. LOS ANGELES
Anniversary Gala & Auction
L.A.?s Gay and Lesbian Center toasts its 37th anniversary with a gala cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner in the 25,000-square-foot ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, a mile from swanky Rodeo Drive. More than 900 well-heeled attendees are expected, with celeb sightings all but guaranteed; previous milestone celebrations drew Shirley MacLaine, Alec Mapa (below), and The L Word?s Pam Grier.
2. LAS VEGAS
HRC Gala Dinner
The casino-laden Strip?s shimmering neon provides the backdrop for the third annual Human Rights Campaign fund-raiser presented by the national LGBT organization?s Las Vegas volunteer steering committee. Join local activists committed to ?Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Equality? at the ultrachic tropical Mandalay Bay Resort for a lavish dinner, two auctions (one silent, one live), and inspiring speeches.
Bloor Street Entertains
Forget breakfast, how about black-tie dinner at Tiffany?s? Acclaimed Toronto chefs, florists, and service professionals host intimate meals at more than 20 posh retailers (think Gucci, Cartier, and yes, Tiffany & Co.) in the city?s upscale Bloor-Yorkville area to raise funds for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Afterward, diners are chauffeured to a gala party at the historic Royal Ontario Museum.
4. NEW YORK
An Enduring Vision
Count on Sir Elton John?s presence?and perhaps even a Reg-style serenade?at An Enduring Vision, the seventh annual black-tie Gotham City fund-raiser for his eponymous AIDS foundation. Cocktails, dinner, and a live auction fill this high-ticket evening, set amid the opulent Greek Revival architecture of Cipriani Wall Street, the block-long former home of the New York Stock Exchange.
London?s infamous Caf? de Paris dance hall?a gilt-covered favorite of the glitterati since 1924?plays host to the fifth annual Wig Party, where outrageously coiffed guests parade for prizes in a glam pageant. Proceeds from this haute headwear?studded dance party extravaganza benefit Crusaid, a charity that assists impoverished people impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United Kingdom and Africa.
6. AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Queen of the Whole Universe
In this twisted take on beauty pageants, one of the opening routines is a ?headgear of nations? parade, drag is the norm, and competitors from a galaxy?s worth of countries and planets (Go, Miss Uranus!) duke it out for the coveted crown in the 2,256-seat ASB Theatre at Auckland?s Aotea Centre. Since its glittery 2004 inception, the regal campfest has raised more than $100,000 for New Zealand HIV/AIDS causes.