Students to be honored at Feiro dinner/auction

Jamestown speaker to tell of sacred link to water environments

Ella Ashford.

Ella Ashford.

SEQUIM — Two students from Clallam and Jefferson counties will make waves on Friday when they are honored during the Feiro Marine Life Center’s annual fundraising dinner and auction, which offers a hybrid in-person/virtual format this year.

The 2022 Making Waves event at the Cedars at Dungeness features Loni Grinnell-Greninger, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal vice chair, who will speak on the tribe’s sacred connections to water environments and the life within them in her presentation, “Water Connects Us All.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the dinner and auction. The in-person gathering will be in an outdoor tent, which has a floor of short grass. A handful of $85-per-person tickets remained available Thursday for the in-person event.

To purchase dinner tickets, call Melissa Williams, Feiro Marine Life Center executive director, at 773-597-7510.

Those who do not attend in person can participate in auction bidding and view the program virtually. Tickets are $5 for virtual attendance. To access them, go to https://feiromarinelifecenter.org/waves.

Williams extolled the virtues of this year’s scholarship honorees as well as those from years past.

“Every year our scholarship applicant pool is diverse, and the students stand out for their leadership qualities and their personal academic activities,” she said.

“Applicants have been very curious and taken advantage of unique opportunities and found new ways to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Sequim High School senior and Running Start student Ruby Romano will receive the Feiro Family Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship is available to seniors in Clallam County whose future educational endeavors best align to Feiro’s mission of contributing to a strong community by providing local marine and watershed learning experiences, inspiring all to act on behalf of the environment.

Romano has been a vendor at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market and a small-business entrepreneur since middle school. Her handcrafted wares include reusable dryer sheets, snack bags and gift bags, among other products.

She credits Feiro with introducing her as a young child to the wonders of an ocean that deserves protection.

The award will be presented at the event by Carly Boyd, Art Feiro’s granddaughter and the Marine Center’s namesake.

The second award, the Robert J. Campbell Scholarship, will be presented to Ella Ashford, a Port Townsend resident completing her freshman year at Willamette University.

She credits the start of her interest in underwater robotics with an exhibit hosted at Feiro.

Ashford’s underwater robotics team, the Port Townsend Sea Dragons, placed fourth in the 2019 MATE International Competition, where Ashford also won the event’s Mariner Award, given to exceptional student leaders.

Ashford worked with the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee to use underwater robots to locate and recover derelict fishing gear and crab pots, called ghost-fishing gear, and later went on to present this work at the 2021 Global OCEANS Conferences as an undergraduate.

Ashford has volunteered at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and for the Olympic Peninsula MATE robotics competition with the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Tom Campbell, son of “Spongebob” Campbell, Feiro’s long time facilities director, will present the award.

________

Paul Dunn can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or [email protected]

Ruby Romano.

Ruby Romano.

Loni Grinnell-Greninger.

Loni Grinnell-Greninger.

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