Jan. 6. Born to Be Wild Kickoff Party. Get your biker togs on and roar on down to Michael’s On East for food, entertainment and more, to jump-start Florida Center for Child and Family Development’s Thunder by the Bay. Also included over the three-day weekend: a live concert starring the Edgar Winter Band (at Robarts Arena), a poker run and a downtown festival that includes music and a bike show. For complete info, call 371-8820, ext. 1800, or go to www.thunderbythebay.org.
Jan. 8. NARSAD Gala. The ninth annual Sunshine from Darkness party for the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression features singer Tony Bennett, along with cocktails, dinner, an award presentation and a dessert buffet. At the Van Wezel; for ticket info, or information on the symposium that precedes the event, on Jan. 7, call 308-MIND.
Jan. 13. Arts Night. The precursor to the Sarasota County Arts Council’s Arts Day, set to take place downtown. Tickets $75; call 365-5118, ext. 301.
Jan. 14. Art of Circus Gala. An evening of dining, dancing, circus entertainment and a live auction led by SARASOTA Magazine’s Jimmy Dean, all under the Big Top at Tuttle and Ringling. Starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $150; call 371-6978.
Jan. 17. Van Wezel Foundation Gala. A performance by Liza Minnelli is the centerpiece of this evening, which begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Grand Foyer with dinner and also includes a dessert and champagne reception after, for Super Star and Show Stopper Patrons. Ticket prices vary; call 366-5578 for more details.
Jan. 18. Women in Power Luncheon. Three outstanding local women—Kate Alexander, Rose Chapman and Teri Hansen—receive their just desserts at this National Council of Jewish Women event, set for 11:30 a.m. at Michael’s On East. Tickets $40; call 383-9394.
Jan. 20. A Dog’s Night Out. Saks Avenue and pet lovers Ira and Lee Barksy sponsor this event, which includes a dog fashion show, doggie boutique, pet portraits, food, wine and more, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Saks. Tickets $50 for two-leggers, $25 for four. Proceeds go to the Animal Rescue Coalition. Call 957-1955, ext. 7.
Jan. 21. Catholic Charities Ball. This year’s event honors Bishop John J. Nevins, who will retire in 2007, and takes place at the Hyatt. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, dancing and a live auction. Tickets $175; call 379-5119.
Jan. 22. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Girl Scout Cook-ie Off. See what some top chefs can do with those yummy cookies, in a fund raiser at Michael’s On East. Call 921-5358, ext. 230, for more details.
Jan. 28. Enchanted Evening in Tuscany. Taking off from its production of Enchanted April, the Asolo presents a masked ball, complete with fine dining and music, starting at 7 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton. For tickets ($200), call 351-9010, ext. 4700.
Jan. 29. Florida Jewish History Month Brunch. Marcia Zerivitz, founding executive director of the Florida Jewish Museum, will talk about important women in Florida Jewish history at this brunch event, at Michael’s On East. Tickets are $36; call 371-4546.
Feb. 4. Sarasota Opera Opening Night Gala. The opera is off to the start of its 47th season with a production of La Bohème, bookended by a 5 p.m. dinner under tent on Pineapple Avenue and a champagne and dessert reception afterward. Tickets $150; call 366-8450, ext. 402.