For those looking for a great excuse to get dressed up, there’s a benefit for every budget during the last weekend in January. Two upcoming galas should send you running to the end-of-season clothing sales to get a new cocktail dress or evening wear.

On Thursdsay, January 29, Allies holds its annual gala at KatManDu, the waterfront night club in Trenton. In addition to the opportunity to party with Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Royce Gracie and Ashley Fairfield, Miss NJ 2008, guests can dance to live cover music from Famous by Monday while keeping their fingers crossed that they win the grand prize of the evening, a 26-inch flat screen HDTV. You can even bring your kids. There will be appearances by the Chick-fil-A cow, games, prizes, Boomer, the Trenton Thunder mascot, and a face painter.

Since 2000, Allies, a statewide non-profit agency, has helped students and adults with disabilities to find employment in a wide range of fields. They provide transitional plans for students, vocational assessment, job development, job coaching and employment readiness training, functional skills training and follow-along services, as well as residential housing and recreational activities.

On Saturday, January 31, the Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum will host “Amusement,” an evening inspired by a Roman mosaic in the museum’s collection of ancient art, which depicts a drinking contest between Herakles, the mythological hero, and Dionysos, the god of wine. The event will begin with cocktails, Italian wines, and hors d’ouevres at the art museum, where guests can enjoy children’s art from Mini Masters, an exhibition showcasing works by the museum’s young visitors. The festivities will then move to Prospect House, with dinner prepared by executive chef Brian Driscoll. The nine-piece Franklin and Alison Orchestra, a Princeton-based band featuring Broadway singer Laraine Alison, will play selections ranging from swing to popular American standards.

Proceeds will support educational outreach initiatives in the art museum’s department of education and academic programming.

In keeping with the theme, Prospect House will be transformed into a celebratory setting reminiscent of ancient Greece and Rome, with an array of wines and a feast fit for the gods and gastronomes.

Benefit Evening, Allies, Katmandu, Trenton. Thursday, January 29, 6 p.m. Royce Gracie, UFC Hall of Famer, and Ashley Fairfield, Miss New Jersey 2008, sign autographs. Dance music by Monday. Raffles, prizes. $20. 609-509-1065 or

Amusement, Friends of Princeton University Art Museum, Museum and Prospect House. Saturday, January 31, 6 p.m. Cocktail reception, dinner, music, and dancing. Gala benefits educational and outreach programming. Black tie preferred, togas optional. $200. 609-258-4057 or

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