Fundraiser goes from rags to riches

RUNWAY SUCCESS: Models gathered onstage Saturday night to celebrate another successful Recycled Runway event.

Charlotte Varcoe

RAGS have turned into riches following the ninth annual Recycled Runway event raising over $9000 for Mount Gambier’s

Over 300 guests and 31 contestants were transported into an African Safari Saturday night while enjoying both traditional African food and entertainment provided by the Mount Gambier Migrant Resource Centre.

Contestants and models took to the stage while competing in several different categories with the winners receiving a $100 prize each.

The judging criteria encourages a creative approach to repurposing the clothes given to contestants and restricts the introduction of fabric sourced outside of the garments provided to 20pc.

Many entrants used a significant amount of the fabric received without needing to introduce external fabric and without compromising on their designs.

The winner of the experienced category was Rebecca Yoannidis who used close to 100pc of her items received in her bag through an innovative design by transforming the bottom of a jacket into a skirt which opened at the front.

Recycled Runway event founder Trudy-Anne Doyle said the night’s event was one of the best hosted so far with the food, drink and entertainment a highlight of the evening.

“Everything went well despite a few glitches but overall we are extremely happy with how the night went,” Ms Doyle said.

“It is the biggest event we have hosted so far because the event is gaining momentum each year and although we had lower numbers in both attendance and contestants due to COVID-19 we were thrilled to be able to host it in the first place.”

Ms Doyle said she was very proud of her fellow volunteers to host the event during the pandemic and produce a fun and entertaining evening for all involved.

“Kids that came along danced on the stage and we really had a lot of youth give the event a wonderful atmosphere alongside the entertainment before the event and during the intermission,” she said.

“We have had plenty of positive feedback already and there are a number of community groups that are looking forward to participating next year as well.”

The Independent Learning Centre was also successful during the evening with students receiving the unmodeled category.

Bella Berlin from Suttontown Primary School received the High School and Under category prize with Franisaka also receiving the Novice category prize.

Long term contestant Jenny Fox received the Open category with Rebecca Yoanniois receiving the top prize in the Experienced category.

This year there was also a Mask category which was won by Chris Young and the People’s Choice which was received by Amy Smith.

“It was good to see people moving through the levels of the competition but it is always amazing to see what every contestant achieves,” Ms Doyle said.

“Some contestants have already said the event has changed the way they think about shopping at second hand stores which is what we are really advocating for.”

Fiona Harvey and Hayley Summers also left the event as winners, securing an online scholarship through Al Este with owner Ashlee Kalantarian. spokesperson Jason Wallace commended the event stating it continued to be a fantastic initiative which encouraged developmental skills, creativity and recycling.

“It has been wonderful to see the increasing involvement of the refugee community through the support of the Limestone Coast Migrant Resource Centre over recent years,” Mr Wallace said.

“Fundraising allows us to meet some of the gaps between the services we are funded to provide to support vulnerable people and allows us to deliver extra initiatives, such as the Youth Resilience Scholarship, and other support to provide a helping hand when it is needed most, such as for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to overcome a crisis and secure a better future,” he said.