Project Refuge Upcycle Fashion Show Application Deadline Approaches

provided to Santiva Chronicle

MaryBeth Greenplate and her mother Carol Strange

Oct. 1 marks the deadline to submit an application as a designer for the Project Refuge: A Couture Fashion Show Using Trash, a “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge fundraiser for the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and part of its 75th anniversary celebration.

DDWS is accepting up to 25 applications for fashion designs made from recycled and repurposed materials to be modeled on the runway on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, for the fashion show and Twist Tie Optional Luncheon that will take place at The Sanctuary Clubhouse on Sanibel Island.

Eco-minded designers can visit for more information and to print an application form. A $50 deposit entry fee is due upon acceptance of the application and will be refunded upon completed participation in the fashion show.

Tickets to attend the Twist Tie Optional Luncheon will go on sale through the web site starting Nov. 1, for $100 each, which includes the show and luncheon.

We are excited to debut this fun and creative event to celebrate the refuge’s 75th anniversary and raise awareness about recycling and the threat of trash to our wildlife,” said Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director. “All profits will directly benefit the refuge’s education and water-quality research programs.”

DDWS is tying the event in with free presentations by internationally recognized upcycle designer Nancy Judd ( on March 13, part of the refuge’s annual Friday Lecture Series. Judd will meet with designers, models, volunteers and sponsors at a special post-party following the March 10 fashion show.

In addition to designer applications, we are seeking volunteers for the event,” said Project Refuge co-chairs Toni Ory and Kimberly Powers. “Sponsorships are key to raising support from the event, and this high publicized show will be a real win-win for both the refuge and the sponsors.”

Contact Dot Voorhees at 239-472-1100 ext. 239 for information about sponsoring or volunteering for the event.


As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or

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