As the merry month of May holds sway, it's high time you replaced your well-worn winter wraps with loose-limbed party attire, because some of the year's best-looking soirees are getting underway - and they present wonderful opportunities to wine and dine for worthy causes.

As the merry month of May holds sway, it's high time you replaced your well-worn winter wraps with loose-limbed party attire, because some of the year's best-looking soirees are getting underway - and they present wonderful opportunities to wine and dine for worthy causes.

The pet-protecting Capital Area Humane Society will benefit from your well-spent $45 for tonight's Celebrity Chef event. From 6 to 8:30 p.m. inside our beautiful new baseball stadium, Huntington Park, attendees can sample delectables from over 30 local eateries, which include Handke's Cuisine, the Refectory, Basi Italia, Mellow Mushroom and City Barbecue. There will also be raffles, live music, a cash bar and local luminaries (like Alive managing editor Brian Lindamood) dishing up the savories.

I consider Taste of the Independents a yearly must-attend event - as in must have an absolute blast while wining and dining with local restaurant-insider types. Taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. next Thursday, May 7, in the resplendent Smith Bros. building, this bash gathers the 40-plus formidable indie restaurants under the aegis of Dine Originals and has each great eatery lay out some of their signature dishes - usually served by the actual chefs themselves. Included in the $75 ticket is a terrific wine tasting, and proceeds benefit Buckeye Ranch. Visit dineoriginalscolumbus.com for details.

But wait, there's more! The aptly named Romancing the Grape - which benefits Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio - is yet another can't-miss shindig. That glass-clinking party happens this Saturday at the Huntington Club in Ohio Stadium. Uncorking at 6:30 and swinging until 11, this elbow-bender features 300 top-shelf wines (you read that right, my friend!) plus food from the likes of Mitchell's Steakhouse, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Luce Enoteca, the Columbus Fish Market and the Refectory. Tickets are $85. Click to centralohio.easterseals.com for info.