High Altitude Society column: Project Funway raises funds for Eagle County Schools | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: Project Funway raises funds for Eagle County Schools

VAIL — On Saturday, April 8, Dobson Ice Arena in Vail was transformed into a festive venue for the 2017 Project Funway fashion event. There were huge magenta orbs illuminating the arena and a handmade bar built by Karl Krueger. The space was a far departure from the chilly ice rink and held hundreds of fans of fashion and education. The designers, models and hair and makeup talent worked throughout the afternoon and early evening to prepare for yet another amazing show.


Local husband and wife team Erik and Kim Williams did an awesome job emceeing the 2017 Project Funway fashion show, with sharp wit and commentary, pointing out the special features of each design, all the while making it personal, playful and entertaining. It was all a wonderful way to “fun-raise” for the Education Foundation of Eagle County, which exists to support the creation and delivery of an excellent classroom learning experience for all pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade Eagle County Schools students by providing specific tools, technology and staff to protect vital programs and curricula.

Pavan Krueger welcomed the record audience to the 2017 Project Funway event.

“I want to thank the Vail Valley Medical Center who is our presenting sponsor, to the town of Vail and the Vail Recreation District for letting us move into their neighborhood … we had to because nobody else could handle us. To Vail Resorts Epic Promise for numerous huge donations,” Krueger said.

“Thank you to all of you who know how to have a good time and who believe in the concept that education is the most important thing — the backbone of our society … and now I want you to meet Wendy Rimel, who is one of my greatest friends and the fiercest advocate for education that you will ever meet.”

Rimel greeted the crowd and gave some background information about the foundation.

“(Education Foundation of Eagle County) has been in existence since 2001 to support our public school students, teachers and education. … Your choice to support public education is allowing Eagle County Schools, our phenomenal teachers and fantastic leadership to continue to do the great things that they are doing,” Rimel said.

Soon, it was time to view the plethora of incredible designs during the “unconventional fashion runway event featuring designs with anything but fabric.” Vail Valley Medical Center representative Julie Jackson made the correlation that the event themed “anything but fabric” was happening “to support the very fabric of our community.”

The youth runway show started off the evening with designs made of everything from peacock feathers to playing cards, VHS tapes to valentines, sponges to s’mores ingredients. The adults followed suit, with stunning designs constructed of branches, bark, Legos, bubble wrap, cabbage, climbing rope, corks, medical supplies, plastic, photographs and an abundance of packaging supplies.

Winning designs from the adult category: First place: Charles Overy, designer, and Courtney Moore, model; second place: Sara Manwiller, designer and model; third place: Toni Stoeva, designer and model. From the 13- to 18-year-old category: First place: Maddie Qualman, designer and model; second place: Elizabeth Staufer, designer and model; third place: Chloe Hornbostel, designer and model.

Winning designs from the younger than 12 category: First place: Rylee Sharkey, designer and model; second place: Taylor Morgan and Blakesley Sutter, designers and models, and Jody Morgan, designer; third place: Valentina Campos, designer, and Eden Campos, model.

Thank-yous went out to the Bliss Salon hair talent team: Amber Livingston, Jen Mahaffey, Nick Mahaffey, Tracy Hermes and Regina Urbine, in addition to Ann Ralston, Gabrielle Sirchio, Karlie Cummins and Michelle Kaufman. Makeup talent was provided by Ann Ralston, Ilona Smith, Michelle Siegriest, Dawn Randall, Samantha Snyder, Rachel Snyder and Grace Christenberry. Thanks also went out to sponsors, auction donors and volunteers.

Major kudos go out to the sensational 2017 Project Funway event committee who worked so hard to bring this awesome event to fruition. The community is fortunate to have you. To learn more about the mission and programs of Education Foundation of Eagle County or to donate, visit http://www.efec.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime resident who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.

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