For those keeping up with the special dining events and parties around town, the social calendar is always full.

One thing that makes splurging on such an event with your pals or loved ones even more fun, is knowing that some (or all) proceeds will benefit a local charity.

Saturday at Voyager in Ferndale there will be a celebrations of oysters, cocktails and college football with their first annual In-State Tailgate and Oyster Roast.

The seafood hot spot is known for its wide selection of oysters, but everything I’ve tried here has been a hit, especially the cocktails.

For Saturday’s party, which is 1-8 p.m., they’ll be serving the full bar and cocktail list, plus spiked cider, Irish coffee, jungle juice, light beer from a keg and a vodka ice luge. My favorite part, though, is that this party has a Bloody Mary bar served from the back of a classic El Camino.

The tailgate will raise funds for the Alliance for the Great Lakes with a raffle and donation of partial proceeds. Voyager owner Eli Boyer says they want to help keep the Great Lakes “fish-able and clean.”

“It’s a no-brainer,” said Boyer. “As what we stand for, as a seafood restaurant, and the kind of fish that we source and the kind of fishermen and other vendors that we support. This is their livelihood, the Great Lakes.”

Tickets are $35, which includes entry, food and 20 percent gratuity. The food spread includes wood-roasted Chesapeake oysters and Voyager’s twist on tailgating food like Frito pie, pigs-in-a-blanket, pimento cheese, deviled eggs and cold fried chicken. For an additional $10, get a party cup that includes four beers from the keg. If you just want to come in and hang out it’s $5.

The indoor and outdoor event is rain or shine, and family-friendly, too. Kids younger than 10 get in free and they’ll keep ’em busy with a pumpkin painting station.

Voyager is at 600 Vester in Ferndale. Visit for info or to pre-purchase tickets.

The following weekend, help out some furry friends at the Detroit Bulldog Rescue’s annual Rockabully Chili Cook-off, 4-7 p.m. on Oct. 15.

One hundred percent of funds raised for the English Bulldog rescue group, which has been rescuing and rehabilitating dogs for nearly 25 years, like Jimmy, an English Bulldog puppy with congenital malformation who can’t use his back legs. DBR is trying to raise money to get him a cart so he can move easier.

This year the Village Workshop, 455 E. Cady in Northville, will host the cook-off, which features chili from local restaurants like Batch Brewing Co., Homegrown Brewing Company, Sweetbird Kitchen and others. There’s also a vintage car show, cocktails, beer tent and live rockabilly music. Tickets are $15 in advance at

Also that Sunday, Dine Drink Detroit Week launches with a 2-8 p.m. party Oct. 15 in Eastern Market’s Shed 3. Maxcel Hardy of River Bistro Detroit will be the featured chef, and the kickoff also has DJs, food from Detroit restaurants and a variety of vendors.

Tickets to the Dine Drink Detroit launch party are $15 or $50 for VIP and can be purchased at Dine Drink Detroit week is Oct. 16-26 and includes more than 20 participating bars and restaurants in Detroit that will offer $15 menus.

Net proceeds will benefit Forgotten Harvest this year. Event organizer Scott Rutterbush said they’re hoping to raise enough throughout the promotion to fund 25,000 meals.

Later this month, the Whitney in Detroit and Ontario’s Killarney Mountain Lodge will team up for a collaborative dinner that will benefit Cass Community Social Services’ Tiny Homes Project.

Diners will get a chance to taste food from the resort’s executive chef Guy Bedard, without having to travel across Lake Huron to the Georgian Bay area, where the lodge is located.

The $75-per-person dinner is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18. The cost includes a five-course dinner from chef Bedard and the Whitney’s Natasha Vitti featuring butternut pumpkin bisque, grilled romaine salad, blackened scallop nectarine, duck confit cassoulet and spiced apple cake.

The dinner is at the Whitney, 4421 Woodward in Detroit. Call (313) 832-5700 to reserve your spot.

While that will likely be an intimate setting inside the historic mansion, the Taste of the Holidays at the Bordine Nursey in Clarkston is expected to attract more than 400 guests on Oct. 26 with food from local restaurants and a fall wine tasting.

The bash a fundraiser for the Clarkston Rotary Club’s service projects, which aid student scholarships and other local and international charity initiatives. Tickets cost $45 in advance and $55 at the door. Visit to purchase. Bordine Nursey is at 8600 Dixie Highway in Clarkston.

Although it’s not an event, it’s worth mentioning that La Dulce in downtown Detroit (2 Washington Blvd. in the Crowne Plaza Hotel) will be raising funds through the end of the year for earthquake relief in Mexico.

The restaurant used to have a focus on Spanish tapas, but recently transitioned to more traditional Mexican cuisine. Proceeds from certain menu items — three cocktails and three dishes — will support different parts of Mexico. For example, the seafood pozole (a spicy seafood soup, $16) will benefit relief in Mexico City and From the Ashes, a smoky cocktail, will help efforts in Oaxaca.

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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