You’ve heard the news stories about social services funding being cut in Illinois’ fiscal mess. Well, here’s a way to help: go to “Cooking For Clearbrook” at The Chopping Block at the Merchandise Mart on Saturday. Clearbrook is a special needs school that provides services to over 3000 children and adults in the Chicago region. Instead of the usual sitdown dinner, this is a hands-on event, at which you’ll get to work with chefs from Frontera Grill, Kuma’s Korner, Spacca Napoli, Big Bowl and Sweet Mandy B’s, then eat what you make— and even compete in a cooking challenge. There will be other food from Avec, Cafe Iberico and Table 52, and a silent auction and raffle for a four-day/three-night trip to your choice of tropical destinations. It’s Saturday, November 5 from 7 to 10 pm; tickets are $85 in advance. Go here for more information.