Men urged to don heels to support Women’s Outreach

  • May. 8, 2013 4:05 p.m.

Coming up on May 23 several local men will strut their stuff on a mile-long walk in red high heels, in support for stopping domestic violence.

This will be the second year that the Red Deer Women’s Outreach Centre will host the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® event.

The event will start signing in registrants and accepting pledge packages at 11 a.m. at the Women’s Outreach Centre on 54 Ave.

“If they don’t have shoes we’ll get them set up in the shoes. We have sizes all the way up to 14,” said Darcy Ouellet, fund development officer at the Women’s Outreach Centre.

After all the participants have received their red heels, 360 Fitness will provide some stretching exercises and lessons on how to walk properly in high heels.

There will also be a BBQ held in the parking lot after the walk in support of the Red Deer Food Bank.

Last year the event raised $36,000 with 85 men walking the mile-long path in high heels. “I’m hoping this year to increase the amount raised to around $50,000,” said Ouellet. “I’d like to do about 150 walkers this year.”

Red Deer is one of 642 communities across North America taking part in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® event this year.

The success of last year’s walk has also helped to raise community awareness about the event, with 50 participants already registered and an additional 100 application packages handed out.

Ouellet said that he prefers if people use the online registration to sign up for the walk, as it allows the organizers to better keep track of all the participants.

“There’s still lots of time, there’s still three weeks to register,” Ouellet said.

Participants can sign up as an individual or as a team, which is the popular choice among companies. And they are encouraged to make and receive pledges for the walk. “Shaw has a team, the Bra Lounge has a team, I think most of the radio stations have a team and Co-op Hardware.

One of the perks of a company registering a team is the ability to display a company banner adding to the PR and advertising side of things for that company, said Ouellet.

The number of sponsors has also increased to include the Bra Lounge, Muse Clothing, Great Strides, and 360 Gym, he added.

Last year, Women’s Outreach responded to more than 45,900 calls, while employees helped over 4,900 individuals with issues including domestic violence, housing, legal, meeting basic needs and emotional support.

Meanwhile, all of the proceeds collected from the event will go towards supporting and financing the work that Women’s Outreach provides.

“We still want more people. The more word we get out the better the walk will be,” Ouellet said. “It is going to become our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we just want to build on it every year.”