This is my favorite way to help out a good cause. Anything that involves eating, cocktailing, people watching, laughing, and somehow ends up not being self-indulgent? That’s totally the way to go.

I’m off to dinner tonight at the Capital Grille on Larimer. This is motivated in large part because it’s hubby’s favorite steak house, but the icing on the cake is that tonight they are participating in the Colorado Restaurant Association’s statewide “Dine Out to Help Out” campaign, which includes 672 locations that range from Abo’s Pizza to Zaidy’s Deli. They are also working with nightclubs and hotels across Colorado, so if we decide to make it a Really Big Night Out, we can shake our booties, get tipsy, and crash at a posh hotel like the Oxford or the Warwick. Best part? 10 percent of all sales at all participating locations will benefit the ongoing hurricane relief efforts.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be dropping by Mile High Station for the “Eight is Enough” date auction, a benefit for the NewGenesis transitional community for that helps the homeless segue back into housing, jobs, and mainstream society. They’ll be auctioning off eight eligible lads and ladies – of the “average” persuasion. By average, we just mean non-famous. They are still hotties with killer smiles, great jobs, and stellar personalities. Event co-chair Donna Crafton, along with her joint co-chairs – Scott Coors, Dr. Dave Hurt, Bradley Joseph, Andrea and Phillip Gray, Holly and Rich Kylberg, Sarah Siegel-Magness, and Gary Magness – specifically wanted to choose regular singles for the date auction so that bidders could have a real chance at a love connection and wouldn’t end up starstruck on their actual dates.

It’s going to be a great opportunity to people watch, and since I’m not working the singles market, I’ll be throwing my money at chances to guess how many Crocs you can stuff in a Mercedes. Literally. The closest guess (each guess costs $10 – I’ll take ten, please) will win a 2-year lease on either a new BMW or a new Mercedes from Murray Motors.

Sound like fun? Head down Thursday night at 6 p.m. Tickets run $30 for young singles, $46 for over-30 singles, and $85 for couples. Hit Blacktie Colorado for details.