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When Creativity Meet Philanthropy on a Portland Runway, It's a Wrap!

blue wrap runway project, portland, maine

Once again, Portland is hosting Blue Wrap Project Runway, perhaps the world’s only fashion show combining surgical supplies and designer gowns. Considering the correlation of doctors and designers in this town, it's no wonder this fundraiser has taken hold here.

At this annual event, local designers use blue wrap to create elegant and/or silly dresses, hats, scarves, bags, parkas, all of it inspired by, and a dead ringer for, couturier fashions. And what is blue wrap? It’s the colored plastic material that every hospital in the world uses a ton of, primarily for sterilizing and wrapping surgical instruments.

Along comes Partners for World Health. Based in suburban Scarborough, Maine, this nonprofit takes useful medical supplies that U.S. hospitals have to discard because of government regulations, and they distribute them to organizations and people around the world. That means bandages, syringes, tape, gauze, catheter supplies, soap, alcohol swabs—and, yes, blue wrap. And it was Partners for World Health who came up with the idea of a benefit evening in which blue wrap is used to create designer clothing…all for a good cause. (Last year, the fashions also landed at the Portland Public Library for a public show. You can see photos of last year's event here.)

The event kicks off at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 26th, at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall, with proceeds benefitting Partners for World Health. So ask yourself:  how often can I attend an haute couture show where everything is made from blue wrap, and where the cost of my ticket helps to send medical supplies around the world? Odds are, the answer is “not very often.” There is a reception for supporters of Partners for World Health at 6pm followed by a video presentation and fashion show at 7:15pm. Tickets are $50 per person in advance, $60 at the door; Student Ticket $25 and $35 at the door. You can reserve tickets by calling 885-1011.

This is one of those occasions where Portland’s diverse creative talents collide in a shower of creative energy. Blue wrap + fashion show + you = An unforgettable evening.

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