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Thanks For TREES & MEMORIES, a blog post by Maureen Freehill

This was an evening to remember always; a day of great challenge, adventure and triumph for all participants and patrons at the "For TREES & MEMORIES" gala benefit and MomoButoh Dance Company. We gathered to raise funds and awareness for Whidbey Camano Land Trust's effort to purchase and save from 664 acres of Whidbey's last contiguous forest land forever. We raised just shy of 4K, just about 1% of what is needed to buy it. It feels great to have gathered with such a strong positive energy and intention for highest good and give it our all in the face of some very challenging circumstances.

I had to do the majority of the cleaning and preparation of this wood mill on my own (many thanks to my mom and student Evan who helped!). The sound guy cancelled a day before, the video guy got the flu and could not do it. The dressing room just about killed us; we had nearly no time left for rehearsal and some performers
decided to make directorial decisions at the last minute adding a touch of spicy chaos to an already interesting techno soup. More audience members showed up than expected and they all participated with such enthusiasm and respect. The abundant and delicious food & drink were prepared and served with such care and generosity by my mother and her partner.

The SingPeace! folks with Pushkara, Laurence Cole and Mick Dodge, along with Harmonica Pocket's Keeth Apgar and Nala Walla, gathered and built our community spirit by giving birth to new songs to honor the trees under the blue sky before we entered the hall. Dennis Zimmerman the DJ showed up at the last minute to save the day and was amazing at jockeying both the sound and film projection as it illuminated all over the wood filled hall, even though he had never been a VJ before. Wow! Christine Tasseff helped with much needed equipment and took up the task of documenting the event on video. Here are some of the results to give you a little peek into highlights of the festivities.

The most amazing thing for me was the Live Edge Woodworks space itself donated by Kim Hoelting and adorned by Deborah Koff-Chapin's drawings that surrounded us in wooden slabs and magical images inspired by the trees and forests. We were all reminded of how the trees are not only important for our physical survival but also to nourish our souls.

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