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Metstrade announces Dame charities

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Every year, Metstrade organizers donate the combined registration fees for the DAME Design Award entry fees.

After a tied vote among members of the exhibition committee, this year’s entry fees will benefit two charities — Sailing4handicaps and Little Optimist Trust, according to Metstrade organizers.

The nonprofit Sailing4handicaps creates prosthetic legs for people in developing countries. It was founded by married couple Elena Brambilla-Czyz and Wojtek Czyz, two former professional track and field athletes.

The organization’s catamaran, Imagine, sailed by a specialized crew and fitted with equipment required to produce, test and fit prosthetic limbs, will circumnavigate the globe. It has a 3D-printer that can produce new prosthetic limbs, which will be donated free of charge to local populations.

The crew, which has medical training, will teach people how to keep their prosthetics in good working order. An orthopedic mechanic will be flown in especially for each stop as Imagine travels the world. The boat is currently in Tonga, where the charity is planning to support at least 10 adults and children.

Imagine only leaves a destination when all the prostheses have been created and their recipients properly trained in how to fix, walk and maintain them

The Little Optimist Trust seeks to offer hope and inspiration to kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through talks, books and films, the organization helps kids stay optimistic while its Sailing Academy empowers them through skills training and therapy. The Little Optimist Trust also partners with key sponsors to raise funds for renovating and brightening up pediatric health care and education facilities.

The organization plans to bring its fleet of 30 Optimist dinghies to South Africa — the trust has secured a spot at Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club to store the boats and run the sailing program, and the DAME donation will help build the Optimistic Sailing Academy. This will offer a space for kids to learn, a base for instructors and volunteers, and storage for boats and accessories.

The Metstrade Show will take place from Nov. 19-21 at the RAI Amsterdam.

Exhibitors can enter the DAME Award from mid-July; the application deadline is mid-September.

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