BY DIANE MARLIN- DIRKX

No, it wasn’t a tsunami that was caused by the desert denizens’ collective exhale as the “Season” trickled down to a precious few events of fundraising folderol, that always includes the clatter of stiletto heels at luncheons, swank cocktail parties, or homey watering hole meet-and greets, appreciative award hand-offs, amusing speechifying about a celebrity or a cause, a ribald and right-on “roast” of an honouree, elaborate black-tie galas attended by the swells and swellistas or intimate gatherings at someone’s multi-square footed home, complete with parking valet and a terrific band that raises the rafters to add more footage by the brutal strength of its decibels. However, it was definitely a full-throated “sigh” that swept around the desert pillar to post, sand dune to Desert Hot Springs. Our seasonal visitors leave for their summer homes or other playgrounds after Easter. We’ll miss them, but we feel a nap coming on. If you don’t, get out your calendar and read on.

FirstLadiesDiscoSaturday, May 3, 5:30pm. “The First Ladies of Disco” is the hot entertainment that will tear up the stage with stilettos at this year’s annual “Evening under the Stars” fundraiser benefiting the AIDS Assistance Program. Linda Clifford, France Joli, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Maxine Nightingale, Pamela Stanley, Anita Ward, Martha Wash, and the ladies formerly of Chic: Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin, and Norma Jean, will all take the stage at this star-studded affair, considered by many to be the unofficial finale of the desert event season. Gala festivities will include cocktails served by an abundance of bartenders, fabulous live and silent auctions, inspiring honorees, delectable cuisine, divine entertainment, and dancing. Tickets for the benefit are $395 and $500 per person, and individual VIP seats are also available. Tickets may be purchased by contacting AIDS Assistance Program at 760-325-8481.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Don’t miss this show. It will bring back memories, and inspire new ones!

Brew At The ZooSaturday, May 3, 6:30-9:30pm. The annual “Brew at the Zoo!” also goes by a user-friendly label-ready moniker on a mission, namely “Saving Wildlife One Beer at a Time!” Tell them to bring on the suds and do your duty to support the Living Desert and its outdoor, free-ranging savannas, noisy (and quiet) with animals usually only seen in parts of the world which require a passport. Trust us, it’s a trip! The Living Desert, 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert. Ticket, $40 to $125. For more info, call 760-346-5694, or go to www.LivingDesert.org.

FP_WACDSunday, May 4, 2014, 5pm Reception; 6pm Dinner; 7pm Speaker. The World Affairs Council of the Desert in partnership with USC Alumni Club of the Desert will present speaker James McFarlin, author of the powerhouse fiction novel “Aftershock” that reads like non-fiction with a built-in fear factor in a thriller as timely as today, or perhaps tomorrow. His subject? “Emerging Trends in Cyber Terrorism.” Yikes. The mission of the council is to engage adults and students in our valley in international affairs, both through the speaker series and support of an active youth program. Tickets: World Affairs Council Member , $65. Non-member, $80. For more information or tickets , call 760-322-7711, or go to www.worldaffairsdesert.org. Email: worldaffairs3@msn.com. Event at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa, 44-400 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells.

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Clue_SteinwayWednesday, May 4, 7pm. And the Jr. and Sr. Steinway Society Competition winners are: Catherine Duan, 9, Ranen Unger Hicks, 13, Karissa Juhas, 11, Joel Oswari, 12, Emika Saito, 12, Julian Jenson, 18, Andrew Tang, 14, Ben Tecson, !6, Marie Ananian, 17, Matthew Evangelista, 18 years old. All will perform in a concert at the Rancho Mirage Public Library—and it may be the last time you can hear them for free! “The skill and passion of our competition knocked our expert judges out,” said Ruth Moir, president of the non-profit Society that has provided free music educational programs to 17,000 students in local schools. In tune with today’s stress on an arts education for a better future: On college entrance exams, students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math, than did students with no arts participation. “Our schools need music!” says Moir. AMen to that. And ending a tuneful music education at “Itsy Bitsy Spider” just doesn’t cut it.

YTri Spring/Summer Family Fun in La Quinta. A real Class Act for the family kids, including swimming at Fritz Burns pool, May 12 through May 28; Swim lessons, 5 to 5:45pm, Monday and Wednesday; Water Aerobics, 6 to 6:45pm, Monday and Wednesday; Pre-Swim Team and Stroke Clinic, 6 to 7pm, Monday and Wednesday. YMCA Triathlon (Y TRI), Saturday, May 17, 8am. Children, ages 5 to 8 years old, will learn to swim, bike and run through a safe triathlon course especially designed for their age and skill level as a non-competitive event . Starting with a swim in the pool followed by a trac tree bike course and a run in the park, participants need to bring a swimsuit, a bike in good working order, helmet and running shoes. Each participant receives a Y Tri finisher’s certificate. First 60 children to pre-register receive a bike helmet! Foe Aquatics and Y Tri registration: Family YMCA of the Desert, 43-930 San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert. Call 760-341-9622. www.ymcaofthedesert.org. Cost, $10 per entry, at Fritz Burns Park. More info on upcoming activities, contact the Community Services Dept., 760-777-7090, or communityservices@la-quinta.org.

MadridFriday, October 24 – Sunday, November 2, 2014. Join an Art Tour Spain and Morocco with the Contemporary Art Council of the Palm Springs Art Museum for extraordinary nine-night, custom-designed art tour to three cities: Barcelona, Marrakesh, and Madrid. Experience exclusive destinations and enjoy encounters with artists, architects, collectors, and curators. The tour begins on October 24 with check-in at Majestic Hotel in Barcelona and concludes on November 2 with check-out of the Ritz Hotel in Madrid. Barcelona is a city of surprises as cutting-edge art, bold fashion, and eccentric architecture merge to create the country’s most cosmopolitan city. Marrakesh, nicknamed the “Red City” is the most important of Morocco’s four imperial cities balancing the ancient and classic characteristics with a burgeoning contemporary art and design scene. Madrid had undergone dramatic renovations and architecturally-significant transformations where traditional design has received a contemporary makeover – including the triad of exalted museums housing Spain’s treasures. The tour price includes airfares from Barcelona to Marrakesh and to Madrid. (International airfare from USA to Spain is not included.) $8,800 per person, double occupancy. Open to all museum members. Limited space. For further information please contact Gabby R. Gomez at cac@psmuseum.org or 760-322-4823.

“Don’t Be Clueless” wants to remind you that press releases for inclusion should be in to the Coachella Valley Weekly at least two weeks ahead of the scheduled event! Thanks!