Project Funway benefits mental health in Eagle County schools
Now that the glue guns, duct tape and dust have settled, the Education Foundation of Eagle County’s Project Funway has once again impressed a growing audience with the creativity, talent and generosity that flows throughout this mountain resort community. The Saturday, Feb. 9, event, hosted at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail, featured an evening of fashion, food and fun, grossing approximately $160,000 in support of efforts to put a therapist in every school in Eagle County.
Event creators strive each year to top the previous production and 2019 was no exception. But, the true entertainment is the unlimited artistry of each design that walks down the runway on display for more the than 600 people in attendance.
The hardest job in town may quite possibly be a judge for Project Funway. This year’s line up of experts included Laurie O’Connell, of Perch Vail, Beth Slifer, of Slifer Designs, Brittany Bowlen, the daughter of the Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, Lisa Schanzer, local philanthropist and EFEC board member, and the return of celebrity guest Mondo Guerra, Denver-born fashion designer and “Project Runway All Star” winner.
“I was amazed to see the Vail community come together in such strong support of local education,” Bowlen said. “It was an honor to serve as a judge for Project Funway and be part of an event that helps further the very important work of the Education Foundation of Eagle County. My sister Annabel and I had a wonderful time and were incredibly impressed by the creativity and talent of the designers.”
As fun and exciting as the event is, the true purpose of Project Funway is to raise funds to sustain EFEC’s mission to support education and the minds and hearts Eagle County students especially focusing on classroom enrichment, efforts to retain quality teachers and ensuring equitable in-school mental health services are available to all students.
Project Funway featured three designer competition categories: youth 12 and younger, young adults ages 13 to 17, and adults. Prizes are awarded for the top three designs in each of the categories, along with a best of show selection from Mondo Guerra. Judges scored each design based on criteria including unconventional materials (anything but fabric), creative use of the materials, craftsmanship of each design and the runway presentation. This year’s winners were:
Youth 12 and Younger
First: Brielle Dale (jewelry, beads, gems, rocks, duct tape, ribbon, glue and wire)
Second: Zeme Braunholtz (carpet Pad, hot glue and Lindt chocolate wrappers)
Third: Eden Campos (doilies and cupcake liners)
First: Adriana Avila (corn husk and maize)
Second: Chloe Hornbostel (lithographs of flowers, dictionary pages, hand-dyed tissue paper, Duct tape and plastic tablecloth)
Third: Piper Scherr (interior design samples, leather, rivets); model: Duncan Scherr.
First: Doe Browning (hot glue).
Second: Tamara Whelpley (telephone wire), model: Chris Courtwright.
Third: Ash Ikoniak (CDs and DVDs), model: Justine Bossow.
The graduates of Vail Mountain School’s class of 2019 will be off to far-flung destinations next fall, set to enter college in one of 16 different states or explore the world on a gap year. One grad is even attending college in Canada.