Portlanders doing good

• Musicians raise funds for scholarships

Ten bands featuring young players in the 'Breakout Sessions' will raise money for scholarships that allow low-income families access to music education, during a performance Saturday at Oaks Park.

The groups perform from 1 to 5 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Portland Rock On With Us 2011-12 scholarship fund. No admission will be charged, but a suggested donation is $5.

1-5 p.m., Saturday, July 23, Oaks Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, $5 suggested donation,

• Safeco donates $30,000 to local services

Seattle's Safeco Insurance Foundation contributed $430,000 last week to homelessness services across Oregon and Washington, cutting a $20,000 check to the Portland Rescue Mission and $10,000 to the Oregon Food Bank.

The donations were part of the foundation's annual homelessness initiative. Grants were awarded to 32 organizations focused on ending homelessness through food, housing and shelter.

Eric Bauer, executive director of the Portland Rescue Mission, says demand for the mission's services has grown by more than 20 percent in the past three years, and homelessness has risen by 7 percent this year in Multnomah County.

Safeco funds will help the Oregon Food Bank distribute emergency food to 20 regional food banks and more than 947 partner agencies.

• Resident's half-marathon focuses on disease

Portland resident Geri Varvel starts training in August for December's Rock 'n' Roll Vegas Half Marathon, in the name of the 1.4 million Americans who battle digestive diseases.

Varvel is participating in Team Challenge, an endurance training program of the Chron's and Colitis Foundation. Varvel's youngest son was diagnosed with Chron's last February, two weeks before his fifth birthday.

On Dec. 4, Varvel will run a half-marathon with a new Portland team created this year. The event starts and finishes on the Las Vegas strip, taking runners and walkers past world-famous sights on a flat, fast course.

• Staged! benefits theater, education

Portland musical theater company Staged! is celebrating its sixth anniversary with a cabaret fundraiser from 8 to 11 p.m., Thursday, July 28, at the Bossanova Ballroom on East Burnside Street.

Tickets are $50 each, and tables seating eight to 10 people are priced at $350.

The evening includes music, stories, songs and a special announcement previewing the upcoming season.

Since 2005, Staged! has provided training to young people through a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant. The company won four Drammy Awards this year.

Portland performers Susannah Mars, Tobias Anderson, Todd Tschida, Elizabeth Klinger and pianists Eric Nordin and Jeffrey Childs will appear at the July 28 event. There will be a no-host bar and birthday cake for everyone.

8-11 p.m., Thursday, July 28, Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E. Burnside St., tickets $50 to $350, for tickets call 971-322-5723,

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