About 200 men — mostly wearing red high heels but also sporting other fashionable women’s footwear — walked a mile in Red Deer on Thursday in support of the International Men’s March To Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.
The sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraising event, organized to support the Women’s Outreach Centre, is meant to raise awareness and stop domestic violence.
While it was a fun event that brought a lot of chuckles and smiles to anyone who attended, the seriousness of the matter was underscored by organizers who thanked everyone for attending and helping raise awareness.
Darcy Ouellet, Outreach Centre fund development officer, said they are still tallying the pledges that participants brought in but he was happy with the turnout, which was similar to last year.
Domestic violence isn’t an easy topic, and the event helps raise awareness in a lighter vein, he said.
Dirk Heuer was on his first walk. “With my participation I hope I can make a little difference,” he said. His marketing company does a lot of work for non-profit organizations Red Deer.
Damian Bottrell, who works at Women’s Outreach, was on his third walk. While he admitted his feet were uncomfortable, he was wearing last year’s shoes so they were somewhat broken in. Like many other groups, the Outreach Centre fielded their own team for the event.
Red RCMP Insp. Ken Foster was participating in his first Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. He was leading a team of uniformed Mounties who were in full regular uniform except for what they had on their feet — red heels.
“Red is our colour,” Foster said, smiling, “but in a different context.”
“You endure some agony and a bit of pain perhaps, but for all good cause. I think the community turnout here is also fabulous …. I’m glad it’s not 28 degrees. I’m sure we’ll have a few blisters afterwards but we always get the job done, and we’ll soldier on.”
Foster said he was very proud of his staff and officers for the work they do around relationship violence, and violence against women.
Mike Samson, general manager of Kipp Scott GMC Buick Cadillac, was leading a team of 31 staff, “wearing the biggest, brightest, red high heels we have.”
“It’s all for a cause. … These guys jump at the opportunity.”
Funds raised by the event go to support the various programs and services offered by Women’s Outreach.