Who would've thought a car dealership could be sexy? But combine the elegance of the latest luxury cars, a casino run by strapping athletes and the ever-popular Italian eats of Maggiano's, and you're guaranteed one inviting evening. And when you add to that the fact that it's all for a good cause, it's even better. The seventh annual Park Place Dealerships/Dallas Stars Casino Night Black-Tie Event kicks off at 7 p.m. February 23. The event benefits the Dallas Stars Foundation, which is dedicated to the future of today's youth. They raised more than $125,000 at last year's affair. There will be a silent and live auction along with casino prizes. Plus Dallas Stars players will serve as the casino dealers. The black-tie affair will be held at Park Place Lexus Plano located just north of the George Bush Turnpike at 1025 Preston Road. Tickets are $250 per person and are available at 214-GO-STARS. Reservations are limited. --Jenice Johnson
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We're a serial killer. But only of plants. It's been our curse since freshman year of college, when somehow we managed to kill both a cactus and a bamboo plant. Seems impossible, right? But then we're one of those people whose best bet at houseplant ownership is a plastic one from Hobby Lobby. Although, there is hope for people like us. On Saturday at 10 a.m., learn practical plant care and usage during personal tours through the exotic plants and flowers of the first certified organic tropical conservatory in the state. For those born with a "green thumb," or a gangrenous one like ours, stop by the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Admission is $3 and under. Call 214-428-7476. --Danna Berger
Don't let all the beads weigh you down
If you've spent the past few years celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, expanding your alcohol intake and strengthening your party endurance, then maybe this year you should feel thankful you're still alive. You might even consider expending your party energy in a more healthy manner and still celebrate at the same time at the Mardi Gras Run. Runners can choose between the two-mile and four-mile courses, both of which will wind through Uptown as revelers toss out strings of beads. The celebration afterward features red beans and rice for everyone and music by Zydamax. Participants are encouraged to bring diapers for the Diaper Drive to benefit homeless children. It takes place Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Hard Rock Café, 2601 McKinney Ave. Entry is $20 through Friday or $25 race day. Visit www.mardigrasrun.com. --Jay Webb