Project Refuge

The Upcycled Wonders exhibition will be on display at the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center Auditorium July 5 through August 30 daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It showcases 18 creations from the past two Project Refuge events. 

DDWS presents

Project Refuge - A Couture Fashion Show Using Trash

2022 Winners

Emceed by past Artist-in-Residence Rachel Pierce, Project Refuge's three judges – Doug Gentry, Pat Levinson, and Joan Sherman – chose three top winners and one in the accessory category. Stay tuned for the announcement of the People’s Choice winner.

Thanks to all of our designers and sponsors for another successful event with unique style and an underlying environmental message. Thanks also to DDWS Development Officer April Boehnen and the Project Refuge Team Toni Antweiler (committee chair), Barb Bluedorn, Robin Kirk, Ann Potter, and Sue Ritchie for all their hard work on this event.

1st Place: Pretty in Plastic. Model: Linda Lange. Design Team: Mary Jan Christie, Richard Franco, Mary Meyer, and Elaine Parente

2nd Place: From Sea to Shiny Sleeves. Model: Christopher Galloway (DDWS’ own Nature Store Manager). Design Team: Katy Hosowaka (known at the Refuge as Ranger Katy), Christopher Galloway, and Nancy Riley

3rd Place: Pretty in Pollution. Model and Designer: Jenna Basehart

Best Accessory: A Banner Time for Tarpon. Model and Designer: Barb Rogers

See descriptions of these and other Project Refuge creations in the event program.

Event photo album 2022

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and to bring awareness to the importance of repurposing used items, educating about trash management, and recycling appropriately, DDWS is hosting the second Project Refuge - A Couture Fashion Show Using Trash. It culminates with a ticketed Luncheon and Runway Show at the Sanibel Community House on March 31, 2022 at 11:30am, to benefit conservation efforts at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This fun and unique event will inspire people to use waste materials to create artful and treasured items and we hope it will kindle the spark of innovation for all those who attend. Registration is required to attend. Seats will not be sold at the door.