Project Funway benefits Education Foundation |

Project Funway benefits Education Foundation

Project Funway 2015 committee members Felicia Battle, Denise Jacobs, Tessa Kirchner, Wendy Rimel and Carrie Larson worked tirelessly to make this year’s event a huge success.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

Project Funway, which benefits the Education Foundation of Eagle County, has become a rite of spring passage that will continue and grow. The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa hosted the sold-out event on Friday evening. The space was bursting with good energy and lots of catching up with friends. Founder of Project Runway Pavan Krueger greeted the crowd with her usual calm and humble demeanor, explaining how the evening worked. She then introduced her partner with the Education Foundation of Eagle County, Wendy Rimel.

“She is a phenomenon,” Krueger said of Rimel.

“We want to give a huge thanks to Louise Funk for trusting us to take her foundation and giving it a big, new world. We believe in world-class education. That is what we are all about. We are supporting our teachers in the classroom,” Rimel said.

Specifically, the purpose of the Education Foundation of Eagle County is to make specific and targeted recommendations to, and to work in conjunction with, the Eagle County Schools to retain the most qualified teachers, preserve staffing levels, maintain smaller class sizes, conserve and improve one-on-one teacher-to-student ratios, and to protect vital programs and curricula that have been or are in danger of being reduced or eliminated. Their top priority is to maintain an excellent learning experience for students in Eagle County.

Fun and Fundraising

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With these lofty goals in mind, the fun and the fundraising ensued. First down the runway were the youth younger than 9 years old and, then, the youth older than 10 years old took the catwalk. There were so many incredible designs throughout the evening that few envied the position of judges Ti Diaz, Tricia Swenson and Trista Sutter. The materials used were inventive and included glow sticks, bubble wrap, birthday supplies, Hot Wheels track, playing cards, hockey sticks, Vail Mountain signage and Post-It notes.

Presented by Kaiser Permanente and Vail Valley Medical Center, this year’s Project Runway had a long list of supporters to thank. A huge thank you went out to emcees Erik Williams and Matt Scherr, the judges and all the sponsors and suppliers. Hair and makeup artists Susan Wagenknecht, Megan Rowell, Lindsey Penney, Sandy Jacaruso, Lynn Gregg, Jessica Gregg, Terri Martin, Meninda Basford, Anne Ralston and Jill Suarez worked hard to beautify the runway. Also thanked were the amazing volunteers who met every week after their children went to bed.

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Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for non-profits, galas and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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