Sunday: BB&T Classic at Verizon Center

As former United States ambassador to Canada, Peter Teeley battled colon cancer in the early 1990s, he made a vow.

"One of the things I thought about was, if I get through this, life has been pretty good for me," said Teeley, who was also once the U.S. representative to the United Nations Children's Fund. "You ought to make life a little bit better for others. I thought I'd like to set up a charity for children."

The result of Teeley's commitment is Children's Charities Foundation and its marquee event, the 18th Annual BB&T Classic this Sunday at Verizon Center.

The nonprofit Children's Charities Foundation raises and distributes money to other area charities. Funds are raised through a handful of events, including a gala on Saturday and the popular BB&T Classic on Sunday, a mens basketball tournament highlighted by local teams. All proceeds from the games go toward local at-risk youth programs.

This year, George Washington University takes on Manhattan College, followed by the University of Maryland battling George Mason.

"I'm really pleased about the fact that our local teams want to participate in this process to help raise some money for kids that are in the community," Teeley said.

In recent years, Teeley said that the tournament has faced a pair of challenges. The poor economy has made fundraising difficult, and the proliferation of preseason tournaments makes attracting teams more competitive.

Nevertheless, the BB&T Classic has endured since the mid-90s, providing an afternoon of high level basketball competition, all for a good cause.

"Let's do something that people would really enjoy and have a lot of fun participating in," Teeley said. "The Washington, D.C. area is one of the great hotbeds of basketball in the nation. That was the reason why I thought a basketball tournament would be great for the local teams."

When: GW vs. Manhattan at 12:15 p.m., Maryland vs. George Mason at 2:30 p.m.

Info: $25 to $45;

Friday through Sunday: Harbor Holiday Festival at National Harbor

Holiday music, shopping, food and drink aplenty can be at National Harbor. And the big man himself -- Santa Claus.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Info: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, kids free;

Saturday: Bethesda Winter Bar Tour

Get in the holiday spirit, enjoy food and drink specials and check out 11 Bethesda watering holes at this bar crawl.

When: From 1 to 9 p.m.

Info: $12 with a festive holiday sweater or two canned food items, $15 without the sweater or donation;

Friday and Saturday: "Back to the Future" at E Street Cinema

Hop into your DeLorean and set the date for this weekend to catch "Back to the Future" at E Street Cinema.

When: Midnight

Info: $11;

Friday: Dark Star Orchestra at the 9:30 Club

The Dark Star Orchestra just might be the next best thing to the Grateful Dead. Check out this tribute act and hear for yourself.

When: 8 p.m.

Info: $28;