Wings dancers

Dancer Mary Lou Sanelli, front left, is pictured with Josie Schenk, Anna Thielen, Zoey Huntley-Stern, Lyla Inskeep and Mariah Smith. The performance was part of the Wings Over Willapa event last weekend.

ILWACO — World-traveled author, dancer and choreographer Mary Lou Sanelli of Seattle spoke and performed a dance in tribute to birds at the Wings Over Willapa annual fund-raising auction for the Friends of the Willapa Refuge in Ilwaco.

Saturday’s event was held at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and was part of a weekend full of art, children’s and outdoors events to raise awareness of migrating birds while raising money to help pay for an educational center at the new refuge headquarters.

“The Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was gratified for those who turned out for the dinner and silent auction,” said Kathy Freitas, president.

“The interpretative dance by Mary Lou Sanelli was thought-provoking and the keynote, Dr. John Marzluff, used science, humor and experience to enlighten us about how birds adapt (or do not adapt) to ever-changing development in suburban and rural areas.”

Also on Sanelli’s schedule was a dance workshop hosted by Cheryl Cochran at Beach Ballet, in Long Beach.

“It was exciting to have a Broadway-level dance teacher share her expertise with our Beach Ballet dancers,” said Cochran, owner of the studio.

“The workshop gave them a challenging dance opportunity to expand into new styles of dance.”

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