When plastic Carnival throws slip through our fingers and hit the ground, they’re suddenly transformed - from treasure into trash.

Artist Stephan Wanger has the magic touch that turns those colorful plastic beads back into valuable items again.

Influenced by Turkish frescoes and pop art, Wanger’s vision is to create brilliant mosaics, often of iconic New Orleans scenes, using millions of beads.

On Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wanger invites volunteers to Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, to help him create the Guinness’ Book of World Record’s largest such mosaic.

The event will benefit local charities, including Arc of Greater New Orleans, which serves children with developmental disabilities.

This mosaic will measure approximately 42 feet wide by eight feet high, and feature some familiar New Orleans sights, including the Superdome.

It’s all part of Super Service Challenge, an effort by the Brees Dream Foundation and Companies With A Mission to help local charities.

The event is free and open to the public. For information on the Super Service Challenge visit http://www.superservicechallenge.com.

Trees live again

Jan. 6, known as Little Christmas, King’s Day or Epiphany, is traditionally the day that New Orleans families jettison their holiday greenery and move on to Carnival.

We’ve got some leeway this year, because Christmas trees will be collected for recycling on Jan. 10, 11 and 12.

Strip the trees of lights, tree stands, ornaments and tinsel. Flocked and artificial trees will not be collected, and trees should not be wrapped in plastic bags.

Trees will be used to help restore coastal marshlands. For more informatin, contact the Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs at (504) 658-4071.

Chefs’ Charity coming up

Order your tickets now for the 36th annual Chefs’ Charity for Children.

Some of New Orleans’ best-known and most talented chefs will come together to cook, teach, entertain and serve up an amazing lunch for local food lovers at the 36th Annual Chefs’ Charity for Children” fundraiser.

It will be held Feb. 20 around lunchtime at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel.

Tickets, at $65 per person, include admission to the chefs’ daylong demonstration, as well as lunch featuring a sampling of all of the dishes prepared by the chefs, and a cookbook featuring more than 35 of their recipes.

Tickets can be ordered by calling (504) 524-7285.

Proceeds from this annual event benefit St. Michael Special School in New Orleans, which serves students of all ages who are developmentally disabled.

The program will feature cooking demonstrations by chefs Andrea Apuzzo (Andrea’s), John Besh (Restaurant August/La Provence/Domenica/The American Sector/Besh Steak/Luke/Borgne), Leah Chase (Dooky Chase), John Folse (Chef John Folse & Company, Restaurant R’evolution), Goffredo Fraccaro, Emeril Lagasse (Emeril’s, NOLA, Emeril’s Delmonico and nine other properties), Gunter Preuss (Broussard’s), Lazone Randolph (Brennan’s), The Wong Brothers (Trey Yuen) and David Woodward (Hilton N.O. Riverside). A new addition to the chefs’ lineup this year is Chef Greg Reggio (Zea/Semolina).

The Chefs’ Charity for Children was founded 36 years ago, building on the generosity of several local chefs all of whom donate their time and talents.

Annette Sisco is Community editor. She can be reached at asisco@theadvocate.com.