Sleep Out fundraising reaches $1.25 million

The annual Sleep Out organized by Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners of Wayzata had raised about $1.25 million from nearly 3,000 donors to help with emergency housing needs of family in the West Metro, the group said Monday.

That amount will provide housing assistance for more than 600 families during the coming year, the organization said. The IOCP had set a goal of collection $1.8 million.

It's still not too late to give. For more information on the organization and its fund-raiser, go to www.iocp.org.


Fundraiser set for Priyanka Foundation

The Priyanka Foundation is planning a "Sweet Sixteen" Fundraiser for 6-9 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Minneapolis.

Proceeds will help send representatives from the organization's partner hospitals -- Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Children's Hospital of Oakland, Calif. -- to Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, India, where they will help train staff at the Priyanka Child Life and Development program begun there in 2007 to help chronically ill children; 341 patients have been served through the program, according to the organization's website.

The event will include music, food and a silent auction offering a wide range of products, event tickets and vacations.

The Minneapolis-based foundation is celebrating the 16th birthday of its inspiration, Priyanka Bhakta, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 and died during a bone marrow transplant when she was 8 years old in 2003.

Leela Rao, who founded the foundation, recalled how her daughter was enthusiastically greeted by staff at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis when undergoing treatment. But when they traveled to a Mumbai hospital, they found children were frightened by the surroundings. The foundation has set out to make the treatment experience more welcoming for critically ill children in India.

Tickets to the event are $50. For more information, go to the Priyanka Foundation's website at http://thepriyankafounda tion.org or call 952-451-8184 or 763-688-0810.


Water supply subject of study, forum

Minnesota's supply of fresh water will be the subject of discussion on Jan. 22 when Deborah Swackhamer, an environmental chemist and professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota, outlines proposals that will go to the state Legislature during its upcoming session.

The state's Clean Water, Land and Legacy Act funded the development of a "Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework," a set of recommendations to be presented to the Legislature this month.

Swackhamer will discuss the recommendations during a meeting of the League of Women Voters of Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins. The session is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at Minnetonka City Hall's council chambers, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd. A coffee will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The meeting will be open to the public and refreshments will be served.


Senior program plans classes, outings

The St. Louis Park Senior Program is sponsoring a class on "Understanding the Medicare Maze" from 8:45-9:45 a.m. next Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd. in St. Louis Park. Mark Skubic, vice president for government relations at Park Nicollet Health Services, will lead the discussion.

The Senior Program also will present "Hydration for Wellness," another class at the Lenox Center, from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Jan. 21, focusing on symptoms of dehydration and how to stay properly hydrated.

For more information, call 952-928-6444.


Dealing with the hoarder at home

The Marsh will present "Letting Go -- The Overburdened Household," from 7-8:30 tonight. Bill Bliesath, "the Organizing Guy," and Brenda Hartman will discuss how to manage your "hoarder within" and live better with less.

Admission is $30 for the general public and $20 for Marsh members; call 952-935-2202 to register. The Marsh is located at 15000 Minnetonka Blvd. in Minnetonka.

Some other upcoming events at the Marsh include:

• "Buddhist Teaching for Life," with Bhante Sathi, 6 p.m. on Fridays Jan. 14-March 4; $125 for the eight-week series, or $100 for Marsh members. Call 952-935-2202 to register.

• "Yoga from the Very Beginning," teaching the fundamentals of yoga including basic poses, proper breathing and relaxation techniques. From 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. on Saturdays Jan. 22-Feb. 12. $50, or $40 for Marsh members. Call 952-935-2202 to register.

• "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction," a means to better cope with stress, pain, illness and the demands of everyday life. Meetings from 6:30-9 p.m. on Mondays Jan. 24-March 14, plus a day-long retreat from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. $440 for the series, or $395 for Marsh members. For more information or to register, call 612-624-9459 or e-mail somer012@umn.edu.

For more details on these and many other offerings at the Marsh, go to www.the marsh.com.


Update on project to end homelessness

Cathy ten Broeke, project coordinator for the Office to End Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, will speak at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Augsburg Park Library, 7100 Nicollet Av. in Richfield.

She will discuss the "Heading Home Hennepin Plan," developed by business and civic leaders and others; its goal is to end homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County by 2016. The plan is in the fourth year of a 10-year timeline.

A coffee will begin at 10 a.m.