Bette McKenzie sees value in the discarded 

  • Courtesy photo
  • Bette McKenzie

McKenzie is the co-chair of Discarded to Divine, a fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

What is Discarded to Divine? It’s an event that gives design students the opportunity to deconstruct old clothing and reconstruct it in a way that is new and unique. The reconstructed clothing is then auctioned off during a gala.

Why is it important? In our society, we so easily turn our backs on things. We live in an incredibly disposable society. This event makes you think about how we get rid of things.

How did Discarded to Divine begin? The founder, Sally Rosen, used to run the Help Desk — an organization that gives people in need clean clothing, toothbrushes, and underwear and socks. Most of the stuff that was donated were beautiful designer hand-me-downs, that the people coming in to the Help had no appreciation for. So Sally had the idea to take the donated clothing, deconstruct them and turn them into something divine.

When is the gala held? The gala is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, at the S.F. Design Center Galleria, but the preview will be Friday, April 13, at the de Young Museum.

Do all proceeds benefit St. Vincent de Paul? Absolutely. Most of the money is split between the women’s shelter and the Help Desk.

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