Don’t toss it — wear it in the New Directions fashion event

Don’t toss it — wear it in the New Directions fashion event

From WMBF News partner

By Ettie Newlands

What can you do with a cotton doily besides put it under a vase of flowers? You can make a dress, model it on the runway at the second annual New Directions Compassion Through Fashion event, and help homeless people get back on their feet.

Last year's doily dress was one of the contest entries right along with clothes made with plastic spoons, straws, LED lights, coffee filters and ping pong balls.

The fashion show will be Saturday, April 1, from 7-9 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes, 8400 Costa Verde Drive.

It's not too late to get a $50 ticket, which will include traditional runway seating and complimentary light hors d'oeuvres at Beer and wine will be available to purchase.

New Directions provides food, shelter and individual case management for homeless men, women and families with children in four local shelters.

"Our goal is to help our homeless clients regain their financial footing, self-worth and self-confidence to live independent lives," said executive director Kathy Jenkins.

In 2016, the organization served 1,251 people. That breaks down to 78 families. Specifically, there were 91 parents, 140 children and teenagers, 174 women and 845 men.

Every person helped costs New Directions an average of almost $13 per person, per night, and 67,440 bed nights were provided last year.

The first Compassion Through Fashion event paid for more than 2,500 of those nights.

Award categories in the fashion show include Most Humorous, Most Creative, Most Wearable, Most Funds Raised, Most Creative Description of Ensemble, Most Intricate Design, Haute Couture and Best in Show.

Chairperson Trevor Greene said the only rule is clothes have to be made of recyclable materials. Contestants are encouraged to recycle them after the competition.

Last year, Greene said, there were grand ball gowns, small pieces, two-piece ensembles and men's shirt and short outfits.

"It's all very diverse, very creative and a lot of fun," he said.

This year, local meteorologist Ed Piotrowski will be the MC.

About 300 people are expected this year, about 50 more than last year when the event was held in a smaller ballroom.

This year there will also be a DJ and a musical performance.

A live auction will include items such as a vacation in the Virgin Islands and another at a Myrtle Beach ocean get-away. A weekend in a North Carolina cabin and a golf package in Murrells Inlet will also be auctioned.

"One of our goals is to educate the public because most people don't think they could ever be in a situation of being homeless," Greene said.

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