Local musicians, models and activists will transform the Burlington International Airport into a fashion runway on Saturday night.
The event will feature a dance party and serve as a fundraiser to benefit the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.
The event, which cost $50 per advance ticket and $60 at the door, will feature looks from various local retailers and designers and a multicultural slate of performers. Milissa O’Brien, the organizer of the event, estimated the model troupe for the fashion show represents 10 countries.
O’Brien has organized fashion shows to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, but this is the first time she’ll organize an event to raise money for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.
She said she hopes, beyond raising money, the event will build bridges between communities.
“I hope it’ll provide a better understanding of our community’s New American neighbors,” she said.
All the money raised goes directly to the programming and services provided by the refugee program.
“Every single dollar,” O’Brien said.
The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Project said it was particularly meaningful that the event will be held at an airport.
“We are now in a time when airports in the U.S. have become scary places for immigrants,” the Vermont-based program wrote on its Facebook page about the event.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning residents of certain countries, including Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Libya, from entering the United States. The order was implemented immediately, causing mass confusion in several major airports across the airport. Federal courts later halted implementation of the order.
According to data from the Refugee Processing Center, a program operated by the U.S. State Department, 4,062 refugees have been resettled in Vermont since 2002.
Refugees from Bhutan make up nearly half of the number who were resettled in that time period. Somalia, Burma and Iraq were also listed as common nationalities.
Burlington, Winooski and Colchester were the most common destinations.
IF YOU GO:
What: The Fashion Show is multicultural expression of the arts that will serve as a fundraiser for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. The event will showcase fashion from local retailers and designers, live performances by A2VT and a dance party by Top Hat Entertainment.
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18
Where: Burlington International Airport
Cost: $50 per ticket in advance at www.FlynnTix.org or $60 at the door. Cash bar.
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