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Blood donations

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the American Red Cross is requesting blood donations. Eligible donors can call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment. Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123.

* There will be a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way in Columbia. Maryland author Brian Boyle, who wrote the autobiography "Iron Heart," will be on hand to thank donors, autograph books, take photos and meet with those who helped him recover from a near-fatal car accident in 2004. Limited-edition copies of his book will be given to all blood donors at the drive. Call 800-GIVE-LIFE for more information.


Volunteers needed: The organizing committee for Relay for Life needs volunteers. This overnight event June 4 and 5 is designed to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise money for the American Cancer Society. For additional information, call Jason Copley at 410-781-4316, e-mail hcrelay@hotmail.com or go to howardrfl.com.

Education programs: Howard County General Hospital will feature the following community education programs. Space is limited; registration is required. Unless otherwise noted, all programs will be held at the HCGH Wellness Center's Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. To register, call 410-740-7601 or register on line at www.hcgh.org.

* Shiatsu massage for couples: upper body techniques 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 8 and lower body techniques, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 29. $50 per couple per class or $90 per couple for both classes.

* Happiest baby on the block: Learn soothing techniques to quiet your crying newborn, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 13, $50 per couple includes parent kits.

* Prenatal class for early pregnancy, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 20. Learn about the early stages of pregnancy and understand the physical changes, your baby's growth and easy ways to support your pregnancy. Free.

Clinical trial: An herbal research clinical trial of the effects of culinary herbs on brain function will be studied at Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Road, Laurel. The study begins in January and runs through February. Participants must be between the ages of 65 and 90 and nonsmokers in a stable state of general health. Volunteers will consume a tomato drink containing a randomly assigned amount of the herbs being investigated and complete computer-based tests and questionnaires. All the herbs are commonly found in grocery stores, and there are no legal, social or psychological risks involved with the study. To sign up, call 410-888-9048, ext. 6711, or go to tai.edu.

Also, the institute will offer free wellness programs in January.

* 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 12, powerful practices for everyday life.

* 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 13, healthy eating for a busy life.

* 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 14, discussion and demonstration of traditional acupuncture for health and healing.

* 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan 19, Qi Gong: Dance of the Phoenix. This Taoist health and longevity exercise has been practiced for thousand of years in China.

* 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Chakra energy balancing, the ancient form of hands-on healing that uses a gentle, noninvasive touch to balance the subtle energy field.

* 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20, medical longevity Qi Gong and three jewels Qi Gong focuses on improving physical health and wellness by eliminating blockages, rigidity and disease through gentle physical movements and synchronized breathing.

* 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, yoga and meditation.

All events can be found at www.tai.edu/IntroPrograms.aspx.

Senior yoga : Classes will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays at Slayton House in the Village of Wilde Lake. Sign up for a full session or drop in. Classes are slower-paced and emphasize breathing and stress reduction. Limited space; preregistration recommended. This program is sponsored by the Wilde Lake Community Association. Call 410-730-3987 or e-mail wlevents@columbiavillages.org.

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