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Rochester efforts at tsunami relief

A quick post before hitting the exits: Tuesday night at the Rochester Public Library we hosted the latest in a series of public talks on local-through-international issues -- last night's being a program on tsunami relief efforts that have been initiated here by people such as Nish Gunawardena, a Sri Lankan who lives in Rochester, works at Mayo but this weekend will return to his homeland for an indefinite period to help in the rebuilding effort. With fundraising help from Hands for Humanity, a Rochester-based medical relief organization that focuses on helping people in need of medical assistance in Ecuador, Nish has raised thousands of dollars and will put them to work with his own hands.

Another local hero: Suresh Yanambaka, president of the Hindu Samaj Temple in northwest Rochester, and members of his organization are raising money for people whose lives were devastated in India.

And Melanie Tschida, executive director of the Southeast Minnesota chapter of the American Red Cross, told how more than $100,000 has already been donated to tsunami relief from this area, and American Red Cross nationwide has raised $200 million.

Thanks to them and the local people who turned out for the program.

Much more to say on this -- post on and I'll revisit manana.

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