May On the Scene

Out on the town this May? Here are some of the most fun and fabulous local galas, fundraisers, celebrations and other events to see and be seen at this month around Marin County and in the Bay Area.

May 2 Bridge the Gap’s Vines and Vision Gala

Sausalito’s Bridge the Gap hosts its annual Vines & Vision Gala to support its work on educational justice. The evening features a wine tasting event and live auction to gather financial resources. Last year’s gala raised $560,000 toward the nonprofit’s mission to provide educational, social and emotional resources to underserved students in Marin City and Southern Marin.

May 10 Beyond Differences’ Bridge to Belonging Fundraiser

Beyond Differences, an Marin-based organization fostering social acceptance and a culture of belonging amongst middle schoolers, will hold its annual benefit at Sweetwater Music Hall to raise support for its inclusivity programs in schools across the country. Popular Bay Area band Tainted Love will bring their 80s grooves to the stage.

May 10 In Celebration of Mothers: Supporting the Center for Domestic Peace

 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the Center for Domestic Peace’s annual fundraising luncheon, In Celebration of Mothers—an event which lifts up women’s roles in nurturing the growth of children, families, communities and nations. This year’s keynote speaker will be Nina Simons, co-founder and chief relationship officer at Bioneers.

May 11 UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ Notes and Words Concert

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ Notes & Words benefit returns to Oakland’s Fox Theater to raise funds through music and prose. The hospital provides not only clinical care for children but also addresses their developmental and emotional needs with programs like music, art classes, therapy dog visits and more.

May 16 Ritter Center’s Under the Stars

Ritter Center’s 4th annual signature fundraiser, Under the Stars, will be held on May 16, 2024 at the Elks Club in San Rafael. Festivities begin at 5 pm with a family-friendly reception that includes entertainment and lawn games, followed by a sit-down barbecue dinner, speakers, and a live auction. Under the Stars is part of Ritter Center’s bigger ‘Sleep Out’ campaign, which will nowbe held throughout the year. The Sleep Out campaign invites participants to spend the night under the stars any night they choose—in their backyard, in a car, on the floor of their home or any other uncomfortable place—to help raise funds to end homelessness.

May 16–19 Healdsburg Food and Wine Experience

The Healdsburg Wine and Food Experience, held May 16-19, is a weekend-long celebration featuring the best of Sonoma County and its world-renowned food and wines. The festival hones in on the region’s makers, including farmers, growers, winemakers and chefs. Along with the Grand Tasting event with nearly 200 wineries, highlights include a farm-to-glass cocktail seminar, culinary demos and dinners with renowned chefs.

May 17 Step up Marin!

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Local residents, advocates and elected officials gather in San Rafael for Step Up Marin!, an event to raise funds for Community Action Marin’s anti-poverty movement. Resources generated will help put people on a path of stability and greater hope while transforming systems toward justice. Last year’s gala hosted special guest John Lam, a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet who went to preschool at the agency’s Canal Children’s Center. Photos: Nano Visser

May 19 Woofstock at Marin Humane

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Gather with hundreds of animal lovers and their four-legged friends at Marin Humane’s extensive grounds on May 19 for Woofstock, a beloved music event that benefits the shelter’s animals. Guests can enjoy food, beer and wine, animal-themed vendors, a wide array of raffle items and the main attraction, a rocking music show. More than $65,000 was raised at 2023’s event for Marin’s only animal shelter. Photos by Lisa Bloch, courtesy of Marin Humane.

Date TBD Marin Magazine Celebrates Remarkable Women

The annual gathering, which also commemorates the magazine’s May issue, brings together accomplished women from all walks of life. Enjoy lively conversation, cocktails and tasty bites.

Date TBD Celebration of Heart by the Challenged Athletes Foundation

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The yearly Celebration of Heart, put on by the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), raises money to empower individuals with physical challenges and enable them to access programs and adaptive sports equipment. Guests from all walks of life are invited to stand behind dozens of local athletes and their families, including grant recipients who will take the stage as the evening’s featured athletes. Photos by Christy Fritts, Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Date TBD Vivalon’s Soirée d’Élégance

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The May soirée for Vivalon raises funds for the nonprofit to advance the independence, health and quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities in Marin County. 2023’s Soirée d’Élégance fundraiser generated $375,000 to benefit Vivalon’s home-delivered meal programs as well as other comprehensive, integrated healthy aging services. Photos by Brian Dettor.


Give Back When You Go Out: Volunteer

Looking for more ways to give back to our community by volunteering your time? Here’s a list of Marin County nonprofits supporting a variety of causes — ranging from helping our most vulnerable residents to keeping our environment healthy — where your assistance can really make a difference.