There's nothing like seeing cute little girls smiling and dabbing their eyes atop a podium to give an entire nation of preteens Olympic fever -- and give their parents a headache. No, softball won't do. It's time to buy the leotards and tights, folks; gymnastics and figure skating are where it's at. This weekend you and your divas-in-training can practice your crossovers and camel spins alongside ice-skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen at the Marshalls Skate Fest at Memorial City Mall. Participants will take part in an on-ice clinic with Sasha and several coaches from United States Figure Skating, and she'll be available for autographs when she's not dodging amateur salchows.
So if your tykes take naturally to the ice, they can talk to Sasha about modeling contracts, Campbell's Soup endorsements, and what to do about runs in their tights. We suggest they ask her if figure skating involves more work than putting on a feathery costume and some lipstick. Maybe then they'll go back to the ballpark. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 19. IceSkate USA, 303 Memorial City Drive. For information, visit www.usfigureskating.org. Register early; space is limited. Free with preregistration. -- Julia Ramey
Slice a ball into the trees, and you're likely to feel some self-loathing. But if you're golfing for cancer patients, your ineptitude with a five-iron won't matter so much anymore. After 12-year-old Nicholas Alexander Higgins died from a heart defect 11 years ago, his family decided to celebrate his life and his love of golf by hosting a charity golf tournament. For the past six years, its proceeds have supported heart patients at Texas Children's Hospital and helped fund a summer fellowship program for minority premedical students. And all you have to do is play golf. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, September 20. River Ridge Golf Club, 3133 Brazos Oak Lane in Sealy. For information, call 713-516-3309. $150. -- Julia Ramey