This V's for Valentina

Cocktails for a cause

WED 8/31

Just ask Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt -- nothing says "I'm socially conscious and worthy of your admiration" more than adopting a needy child from a foreign land. But what about American orphans? Owing to grueling adoption procedures, wannabe parents tend to prefer the expedited processes available in China and Africa. Many adoptable American children move into their teenage years without a permanent guardian in sight. To ease the transition for the young women who find themselves "aging out" of the foster care system, the Casa Valentina project provides safe housing and positive alternatives. To support this great charity, renowned playwright Eve Ensler will be coming to town October 27 to present V-Day Miami, which will feature a star-studded presentation of her infamous Vagina Monologues. For those of you itching to help Casa Valentina now, a fundraising party takes place tonight. There will be a raffle, musical entertainment, and two complimentary drinks per guest. Tickets for the Vagina Monologues will be on sale, with prices starting at $25. Admission to tonight's event is free. The fun begins at 8:00 at Oxygen Lounge, 2911 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove. Call 305-274-4772, or visit --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

It's So Easy

Even a dog can do it

SAT 8/27

"It's like getting yourself dressed," says author, artist, and motivational speaker Conni Gordon. "You start with your bare body (outline), apply underclothes (under color), then over-clothing (color), and the final details to unite the picture." She's shared her patented four-step "Instant-Art" method with the likes of David Letterman, Jimmy Carter, and Johnny Carson (yeah, she's old-school). Today you can learn from the effervescent Gordon while giving a shout-out to the dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Greater Miami Soffer and Fine Adoption Center (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach). This painting method is so easy that the classes are open to anyone over the age of three; no talent necessary. Sketch a cool cat from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or paint a perky pooch from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person, per session. Call 305-749-1820, or visit --Lyssa Oberkreser

Pink Wine Is Just Ducky

And it does go well with chicken

FRI 8/26

If you think pink wines are sweet and girly, Wolfe's Wine Shoppe (124 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables) would like to teach you otherwise. Tonight from 7:00 to 9:00 you can sample the last of the delightfully refreshing summer roses at its "Pretty in Pink" tasting. When we asked proprietor Jeffrey Wolfe to provide a witty quote, he paused and repeated the clever quip he had written on the store's announcement board: "Are you blushing again? Don't embarrass me; that's not your white zinfandel talking." The ten-dollar admission will score you samplings of Joguet Chinon 2004 and Elio Perrone Bigaro, among others, as well as a spiffy Spiegelau glass you won't have to hide in your purse to take home. Call 305-445-4567 to RSVP. --Lyssa Oberkreser

Unhazardous Play

SAT 8/27

Playing it safe is definitely more fun than ending up with bumps, scrapes, and stitches. Today from 11:00 to 4:00 the Family Counseling Services of Greater Miami is hosting a free community safety fair in South Dade Park (28151 SW 164th Ave., Miami). You can pick up handy information about water, sun, and bike safety, and check out the cool helicopter, fire truck, and ambulance demonstrations. Call 786-318-7178. -- Lyssa Oberkreser

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