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HELPING HANDS: Toys for Tots ... Cancer dinner ... Vezina benefit

o Toys for Tots: Toys are being collected for Grand Forks-area children in need by WDAZ TV and Whalen's Moving and Storage. To help, bring unwrapped toys to the WDAZ parking lot, 2220 S. Washington St., and help fill up the Whalen's truck between...

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• Toys for Tots: Toys are being collected for Grand Forks-area children in need by WDAZ TV and Whalen's Moving and Storage. To help, bring unwrapped toys to the WDAZ parking lot, 2220 S. Washington St., and help fill up the Whalen's truck between now and Dec. 3. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Info: Terry Dullum, (701) 775-2511.

• Cancer dinner: The Lazur Family and Friends Relay Team will host a homemade sauerkraut with pork and dumpling dinner for $10 a plate from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the VFW in East Grand Forks, 312 DeMers Ave. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Info: (701) 740-2982.

• Vezina benefit: Nine-year-old Steven Vezina, son of Michael Vezina and Traci Jones, was recently diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, a rare anomaly in the central nervous system. After a five-hour surgery for a brain bleed, Steven was left with a fist-size hold in his skull that needs to be reconstructed. A benefit will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ho Bar and Casino. The event will feature a silent auction, bake sale and taco-in-a-bag meal. All proceeds will be used to help Steven and his family. Donations can also be made online at www.ndad.org/fundraisers.asp . Info: (701) 775-5577.

• Magnuson benefit: A benefit has been organized for Kristi Magnuson, a Grand Forks woman living with a dangerous abdominal aortic aneurysm who recently underwent emergency surgery to bypass a portion of the aneurysm. The benefit will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 at the East Grand Forks Eagles Club and includes a silent auction, bake sale and taco-in-a-bag meal. Donations will help Magnuson with medical and related expenses and can also be made online at ndad.org/fundraisers.asp. Info: (701) 775-5577.

• Sox for Kids: Sox for Kids is again raising funds to help needy children buy Christmas presents. All students in Grand Forks County school districts are eligible, as are children from portions of Traill, Steele, Nelson and Walsh Counties. Send donations to Sox for Kids, c/o Cec Tinderholt, P.O. Box 237, Northwood, ND 582637-0237. All funds and goods will go directly to the children. The group is also seeking volunteers to assist the children while shopping. A fundraising auction for those 21 or older will be held 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Thompson (N.D.) Community Center. Info: John, (701) 261-3475; Randy, (701) 599-2600; Jeff, (701) 739-4208.

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• Hunger campaign: The Northlands Rescue Mission and Hugo's in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks are holding a "scan away hunger" campaign throughout November. To participate, pick up a "scan away hunger" plate in the checkout line and ask the cashier to scan it to add any multiple of $2.99 to the grocery bill. Info: (701) 722-6600, ext. 219.

• Donation match: The Denver Mattress Company will match each dollar donated to Northlands Rescue Mission up to $2,500 through a special online campaign that runs the month of November. Funds raised will support the Mission's outreach effort. To participate go to www.denvermattresshelps.com/grandforks . Info: (701) 772-6600, ext. 219.

• Puttbrese benefit: A benefit fund has been established to assist Sandy Puttbrese, who has been diagnosed with uterine cancer and dealt with chemotherapy side effects for more than a year. Donate online at NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp or by mail at NDAD, c/o Sandy Puttbrese Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Checks should be payable to NDAD, and all proceeds will go to help Puttbrese with medical expenses and related costs.

• Prayers for Peyton: First-grader Peyton Richardson, daughter of Kyle and Amanda Richardson, has been in and out of the hospital because of complications with Hirschsprung's disease and primary peritonitis, which resulted in a serious intestinal blockage. Donate online at NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp. All proceeds will go to help Peyton and her family with medical expenses and related costs. Info: (218) 843-1333.

• Christmas gifts: Retail Therapy Thrift Store is collecting Christmas gifts for children living in Community Violence Intervention Center safe homes and shelters. Participants can bring in unwrapped gifts to the store and register for a gift certificate for Retail Therapy, 1375 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks. The group hopes to improve on last year's 140 gifts. Info: (218) 230-4848.

• Bags of Blessings: The Northlands Rescue Mission is preparing a family-like Christmas celebration for those staying in its shelter over the holidays. The group wants to assemble more than 150 "Bags of Blessings," duffle bags filled with personal items which will be given to guests to open at Christmas. Find a full list of the items needed for the bags at northlandsrescuemission.org. Info: (701) 722-6600, ext. 219.

Share news about benefit events by emailing news@gfherald.com ; include "Helping Hands" in the subject heading.

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