Fresh Start ( held their signature fundraising event, Project Funway, on November 4 at The Cornhusker Marriott. The event raised $30,000 for this lifeline program, which has served the Lincoln community for 31 years. Donations from the event will help provide a safe, secure, and supportive home for women experiencing homelessness.

The event would not have been possible without Dr. Sandra Starkey and the talented students from the Department of Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design (TMFD) in the College of Education and Human Sciences. TMFD has been integral to the success of the event since its beginning in 2010. Community designers and students created 34 one-of-a-kind designs using repurposed materials from local thrift shops. Judges Katie Francisco, Brooke Mullen, and Natalie Pieper had the unenviable task of selecting the winners this year.

The judge’s choice winners were:

  • Best of Show: Inas Hskan, modeled by Lily Park
  • Most Innovative: Sophia Notto, modeled by Arielle Knobbe
  • Best Integrity of Original Materials: ReyAnna Moore, modeled by Brody Drayer
  • Honorable Mention: Joelle Tangen, modeled by Joelle Tangen

The popular choice winners were:

  • 1st: Geri True, modeled by Geri True
  • 2nd: Sophia Notto, modeled by Olivia Fiore
  • 3rd: Kelly Thompson, modeled by Xanthe Steffen

The event guests appreciated a VIP pre-party, shopping at The Daisy pop-up boutique, and silent and live auctions.

Fresh Start especially wants to thank Kohl’s and Kappa Alpha Theta volunteers for helping set-up and for their assistance with the event tasks.

Learn more about Fresh Start by visiting their website at or by contacting Monica Zinke at (402) 475-7777 /