By Troy Petenbrink

Many non-profits not only do important work but also host amazing fundraising events to support their missions. Doing good and having fun go hand-in-hand in the nation’s capital at these upcoming charity events.

Fashion For Paws
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 683-1822

Date: April 8, 2017 at 8 p.m.

A benefit for the the Humane Rescue Alliance, Fashion for Paws has been raising much needed funds for the protecting, rescuing, and caring for animals in the District of Columbia for more than a decade. The event includes a runway show with volunteer models who are fashionably dressed by local retailers and sponsored by friends and family members. General admission to the show includes an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. There are also individual VIP tickets and special table seating that includes a 3-course vegan meal.

Blue Jeans Ball
Washington Marriott Marquis
901 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 644-9800

Date: April 23, 2017 at 6 p.m.

The Blue Jeans Ball is the largest fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, which helps more than 500,000 people in the D.C. metropolitan area each year get access to good, healthy food. As part of the event attendees dressed in fashionable denim are able to enjoy food and drink stations hosted by local restaurants and bars while enjoying live music. Participating venues for 2017 include Oyamel, The Palm, Ripple, Occidental Grill & Seafood, Buffalo & Bergen, and Bar Dupont. There are also live and silent auctions with travel packages, restaurant experiences, sports memorabilia, and other premium items.

National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 633-3045

Date: May 18, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

ZooFari is an annual culinary event featuring more than 100 of the leading chefs, mixologists, and vintners from the D.C. metropolitan area who come together to raise money to support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. One of the oldest zoos in the U.S., the National Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals — and always free to visit.  In addition to a delicious evening sampling food and fine wines, ZooFari guests are able to enjoy live music, a silent auction, and visits to the Small Mammal House, the Great Ape House, and the Reptile Discovery. There are also special up-close animal encounters.

Related: Best Places to Volunteer With Your Kids In D.C.

Red Shoe 5k Run & Walk 
Dulles Station
2321 Dulles Station Blvd.
Herndon, VA 20171
((202) 529-8204

Date: May 21, 2017 at 9 a.m.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC strives to ensure that children have access to quality health care and their families are able to better comfort and support them while actively participating in their care. The annual Red Shoe 5k Rune & Walk is a very popular and fun event that supports the organization’s great work. Competitive and non-competitive runners and walkers are able to participate. The event is very family friendly and includes an appearance by Ronald McDonald.

Chef’s Best
Washington Marriott Marquis
901 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 269-6883

Date: June 19, 2017

In 2016, Food & Friends delivered more than 1,000,000 meals to almost 3,000 children and adults in the D.C. metropolitan area living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses. The annual Chef’s Best dinner and auction is the organization’s largest fundraisers. It attracts an all-star lineup of chefs who prepare outstanding tasting for guests. The auction portion includes a variety of premium items including amazing curated travel experiences.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities for Art Lovers in Washington, D.C.