WEEKEND: Power Animal Ball to fete Mardi Gras, help dancer with medical expenses

PORT TOWNSEND — The first-ever Power Animal Ball — replete with mask-making and an art den full of feathers, fake fur, face paint and sequins — will take over the Madrona MindBody Institute on Saturday night.

The event is happening for two reasons.

One, it’s Mardi Gras time, with people all over the globe engaging in carnival celebrations.

And at Madrona, it also is time to lend a hand to dancer and artist Laura McKim, who underwent heart surgery earlier this week.

Fundraiser event

The Power Animal Ball, a fundraiser for McKim’s expenses, will start at 7 p.m. Saturday at Madrona inside Fort Worden State Park at 200 Battery Way.

Admission is a sliding-scale donation of $12 to $30.

And what is a power animal?

It’s anything and anyone you dream up.

And you can turn your fantastical animal into a costume inside Madrona’s art den full of materials.

Also beckoning at the ball: a bar with snacks and drinks, a photo booth where a 5-inch-by-7-inch portrait costs just $5 and a silent auction of artwork and other gifts.

The revelry should be something to behold.

Aletia Alvarez, co-founder of the Madrona MindBody Institute and one of the disc jockeys Saturday night, envisions people dressed as various members of the animal kingdom — from lions to dolphins and from wolves to field mice.

Alvarez, Aimee Ringle and Caleb Peacock will keep the recorded music playing until 1 a.m.

This event is in honor of McKim and her love of dance. She has frolicked many a time on Madrona’s polished wood floor in Nia and Soulfull Sunday classes.

A movement therapist, she also leads dance sessions at Seaport Landing, a retirement and assisted living home in Port Townsend.

After suffering poor health for a year because of an undiagnosed infection, McKim went to Tacoma for open heart surgery Wednesday and will not be at the dance.

Two of her large original paintings will hang in the ballroom, however.

“We are so grateful that we can support our wonderful dancer and friend as she faces this challenging event in her life,” Alvarez said, adding that the Mardi Gras ball will become an annual event to raise funds for a local person or organization in need.

For more information about this and other offerings at Madrona, phone the institute at 360-344-4475 or visit www.MadronaMindBody.com.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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