Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stay Classy Mother's day special

" I am proud to be part of the Priyanka Foundation team that has worked tirelessly in raising awareness about giving children a soft place to land during their hardest times. We’ve been able to give young patients with cancer the power of ‘hope’ and to go to bed excited about the possibilities of tomorrow.”
4. Leela Rao, Founder of The Priyanka Foundation
Leela lost her daughter Priyanka to leukemia when she was just 8 years old. Full of laughter throughout her battle, Leela knew those laughs were only possible because of the Child Life Services Priyanka received at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. When Leela and Priyanka had visited India, they discovered that these services did not exist in other parts of the world. Realizing this, she was inspired to take action and correct that.

Her Impact
60,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in India each year; only 1 in 10 receives complete therapy, according to The Lancet Oncology. Priyanka Foundation established the first ever Child Life Services Center in India in 2007, creating a new genre of jobs in healthcare for the country that have helped more than 2,500 pediatric patients through 5,500 Child Life sessions.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dear Friend of our Foundation:

We have great news. . . and a little request that could make a huge difference for  the children that we help.

From over 2,400 nominees, we have been named as a finalist for the 4th Annual Classy Award, which recognizes America’s outstanding charities!

You can help us win in just three quick steps:

1. Go to

2. Go to “Midwest Region”, scroll down to category “Human Services”, and click the voting button under “The Priyanka Foundation.”

3. You’ll then be asked to sign into your Facebook account or to create an

Awards account to complete registration of your vote. (These safeguards prevent people from voting repeatedly by entering multiple, made-up email addresses.)

Your vote--it takes less than 40 seconds-- could help us attract national attention and funding. So please vote today.

And thank you so much!

Leela Rao

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank you for a successful Be Mine Gala

On behalf of our Chairman and board; I would like to say a special thank you, to all our guests, volunteers, performers and event, table, silent and live auction sponsors for making the Be Mine Gala a successful and a sold out event. A couple that needed no introduction; the former governor Mr. Tim Pawlenty and his wonderful wife, my friend Mrs. Mary Pawlenty honored us with their presence.

The entire evening was infused with, fabulous music, performances by RGK Studio, Angela and her Zumba dancing group, Social Dance Studio, an outstanding yo-yo performance by John Narum and magic by Dr. Raju Madhok. All this and delicious food and desserts including divine “Be Mine” truffles provided by Minnesota’s very own B.T. McElrath chocolatier. A wonderful collection of silent auction items topped off with a live auction….were a part of this fun filled evening.

Together with your support, The Priyanka Foundation will continue to fund its global Child Life efforts, by hiring and training Child Life professionals to work with terminally and chronically ill children and their families during their hospital stay and arduous treatment schedules.We could not achieve this milestone without the generosity of everyone who participated in person, kind or spirit. The countless hours of our dedicated volunteers enable this organization to make a difference in the world, one child at a time, and we appreciate their inspirational work with this successful fundraiser.We look forward to a year filled with continued dedication and global awareness for the mission of The Priyanka Foundation, to live dreams around the world.Most gratefully,Leela Rao
Founder and Global Executive Director

Sunday, January 29, 2012

WCCO News features The Priyanka Foundation We are so excited to share with all of you this video from WCCO news, about Children's Hospital child life staff: Jeanine Clapsaddle's upcoming trip to India. We have accomplished this, due to the support and generosity from all you, our wonderful board members, volunteers and funding partners. Please join us to celebrate this milestone at the Be Mine Gala, on February 10th. We have a fun night planned with music, dancers, performing artists, good food and more!! See you soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The "Be Mine" Gala

Wishes for a very happy and prosperous 2012. We begin this year with our annual party.

You are specially invited to join our fun-lovers (and many other types of lovers)
at this year's Be Mine Gala.

In the Valentine's spirit, you can dance your heart out(and forget that it's Winter)
for four great causes:

having sheer fun,
getting warm,
making new friends,
and helping our volunteers
bring happiness and hope
to chronically ill children.

All this--plus your chance to bid on items for all over the world,
indulge in delicious hors d'oeuvres and buffet by D'Amico catering
and the special concoctions at our cash bar--
is yours for just a $50 bill.

So we so hope you will come
be among all of us lovers
at the beautiful
Metropolitan ballroom, Minneapolis,
Friday February 10th, doors open 6.30 - 11 pm

Music provided by Adagio Djay Entertainment
Please join us and sign up at: or
send a check to The Priyanka Foundation,
2730 West lake street # 401, Minneapolis MN 55416.

The Priyanka Foundation is named for Priyanka Bhakta,
who would have been celebrating her 17th Birthday this month.
Priyanka left us in 2003 after a spirited four-year fight with leukemia.
This delightful girl dreamed that children everywhere
would one day receive the special child life care that she received in Minnesota.
Her namesake foundation trains and sends volunteers from the Children's Hospital & Clinics
of Minnesota and Oakland, California
to offer these Child Life services
at Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, India.
Your attendance at this year's Gala--which we so gratefully acknowledge--
will help us expand our program to more hospitals,
and help the dreams of so many children like her, come true.
We have so far served more than 1200 children and families.
With your generous help, we are excited to serve many more.

We bid farewell to 2011

First of all, we thank all of you who gave so generously in 2011 to help us provide our important care to children. We truly could not have done this without you.

We also want to alert you to the wonderful recognition that several of our volunteers earned in 2011:

In March, the Womens' International Network honored our founder and Global Executive Director, Leela Rao, with its Outstanding Service Award for 2010, during an event in Los Angeles that was podcast around the world;

In May, The US Child Life Council presented our Board member Sheila Palm, the Child Life Manager at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, with its Distinguished Service Award, the CLC's highest honor;

In November, the University of Minnesota presented our Chairman, Dr. Kumar Belani, (Professor of Surgery, Anesthesiologist,McKnight Presidential leadership chair) with its award for Global Engagement, which recognizes "outstanding contributions to global education and international programs."

In November, East Carolina University honored Board member Priti Desai with its special Creed Week honor, for personifying the values of the East Carolina Creed: Integrity, Respect, Diversity, and Global Citizenship.

So we find no shortage of reasons--and again, no shortage of thanks to all of you.

Best wishes for a very happy and prosperous 2012.

All of us at The Priyanka Foundation

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another award winning moment

June 2011
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Families,

We are delighted to share our recent newsworthy events, and hope that you continue to be inspired by our mission to create awareness, provide education and bring child life and development services to children and families in healthcare systems worldwide.

Since 1988, The Child Life Council has honored the child life profession’s outstanding leaders and pioneers with the annual Distinguished Service Award. In May, 2011, at the annual conference in Chicago, our own exceptional Board Member, Sheila Palm, was presented with this outstanding recognition; the highest award presented by the Child Life Council (CLC) Board of Directors. Sheila is currently the Child Life Manager at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She transformed a 3-person program to a team of 18 staff members, and then in 1993, managed the merger of two separate child life departments as part of the system-wide hospital merger that created Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Under her steady and innovative leadership over the ensuing 18 years, the staff has grown to nearly 50 individuals. Beyond her work within her own institution, Sheila continually shares her expertise with other programs in her capacity as an author, policy reviewer, and champion. She has held CLC Board positions as President and Treasurer, been involved in strategic planning initiatives and currently participates in the International Task Force. We congratulate her for this well-deserved award and honor her as a member of our Executive Board.

Also this Spring, The Priyanka Foundation sponsored the special Top Girl trophy for both grades K-3 and 4-6 at the annual Minnesota School Chess Association’s state tournament, remembering that our own little girl, our inspiration, Priyanka, was an outstanding chess player. To support and encourage students to pursue the intellectual challenge and friendly competition of the game, our founder, Leela Rao, personally presented trophies to the First Place winners, reminding participants of the crown that each wears, in their role as global citizens. This is a good opportunity to point out that our foundation logo represents the King and Queen of the chess board!

The business of the foundation is expanding steadily, with two new employees hired as staff members at The Priyanka Child Life and Development Center at Manipal Hospital, in Bangalore, India. We are thrilled at the progress we are making in Bangalore, and each day, we receive updates from our team in India, letting us know that our programming brings positive and exciting experiences to sick kids and their families. In pursuit of our goal of global access to Child Life and Development, we hope to have a Center open in Mumbai by the end of the year.

This is an exciting time for The Priyanka Foundation, as we move forward, gathering momentum and global recognition. The mission remains focused and achievable: make a significant and positive impact in the lives of hospitalized children and their families. We invite you to help spread the word about The Priyanka Foundation and the crucial work performed by the Child Life and Development specialists. We appreciate your continued support, both financially and enthusiastically.