Aspiring male allies of Grey and Bruce were once again invited to put on a pair of women’s heels for charity and joined in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® campaign to make a pledge to speak out against sexual assault and oppression.
The annual event provides a unique opportunity to bring attention to a very serious subject, raise funds for Women’s House, and be part of an international movement to end gender-based violence.
One in every three women, one in eight men, and more than 50% of gender diverse folks is abused. That means someone you know or care about, has been or may become a victim of abuse. Seventy-five percent of Canadian men feel it is important to speak out against gender-based violence. Many are doing so through the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®, not just talking the talk, but walking the walk donning red high-heeled shoes, making a point of having fun while sending the serious message that sexual violence has no place in our community.
Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey held two Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® fundraising events this year: one on Saturday, May 27th, partnering with The Queens in Port Elgin, with almost 10 men walking to take a stand against gender-based violence and champion change, bringing in $2,500 in pledged donations; and a second event on Sunday, May 28th at BarDown Kincardine, along with Ewyn Studios and Creative Casuals, with another great turnout, bringing in $8,000 In pledges, with more donations still coming in.
photos by Kincardine Chamber of Commerce
For larger view, Click on image
Bruce Power also held a gate collection prior to the event, and will be donating the funds raised there, which, at last count was over $3,000. The events saw almost 30 men on a one-mile walk, donning red high-heeled shoes, walking down Kincardine and Port Elgin’s main streets, raising over $12,000 for Women’s House. At the same time, they raised awareness of gender-based violence and made a commitment to action and mentorship as local male champions of change, and as the old saying goes…..actually “walking a mile in her shoes”.
This year some very young men also joined in the walk demonstrating their enthusiasm to join in and show their dedication to ending gender-based violence as well as their understanding of consent and importance of healthy relationships. “It was very heartwarming to see young people setting the stage for our future in such a wonderful way,” said organizer Michelle Lamont, Community & Fund Development Coordinator for Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey.
Supporters and the many volunteers helping to put the event on joined the walkers, dancing and cheering them on. While on their walk in Kincardine, participants stopped for a rest and had some refreshments at Ewyn Studios, then returned to BarDown where they were treated to delicious snacks donated by the restaurant. The Port Elgin walkers on Sunday were also spoiled with a lovely spread of food, donated by the Queen’s.
Following the Saturday Walk a Mile event in Port Elgin, the Queens hosted TroyBoy Entertainment in their Top Tier Drag Show – Walk the Stage, in support of Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey. Tickets were $30 in advance, and there was a great turnout, with over 100 in attendance.
The performers thrilled the audience with audacious fun and laughter – pure entertainment! While they entertained, the performers also donated some of their proceeds – with almost $1000 from tips and donations at the event – to help the cause and also helped to raise almost $3,000 in ticket sales. What a show! “Thanks to those who purchased tickets, we are able to continue to provide the level of services that we do to those we serve and everyone walked away happy!” added Lamont.
Appreciation by the Women’s House: Thank you to the many people that helped to make these events so successful: all the participants and their supporters and donors, the Queen’s for helping us to host the event Saturday event, BarDown, Ewyn Studio and Creative Casuals for helping to put together a great Sunday event, the volunteers that helped each day, and the supporters who helped to raise funds and raise awareness. That support helped us to raise almost $16,000 in total for all three events … and donations continue to roll in, as people hear about the event and still want to support through the donations link on our website (www.whsbg.on.ca/are-you-man-enough )!
Women’s House gives out ribbons to all walkers, based on Individual and Team 1st, 2nd and 3rd highest pledges brought in for the event. The first place Team and Individual also earn some very coveted trophies – a mounted giant red high-heeled shoe that they keep to display until next year’s walk. This year’s awards were handed out to:
- 1st Place Individual – Chris Turcotte (check out his trophy on display at his store at Creative Casuals)
- 2nd Place Individual – Steve Poyner, of 2M Power – he has committed to entering a team next year!
- 3rd Place Individual – Shane Watson, from the Kincardine Fire Department
- 1st Place Team – Bruce Power’s Team
- 1st Place Individual – Rob Searson (Lucknow & District Kinsmen)
Monies raised from Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® help to ensure that our current levels of vital programs and services continue to be provided in our community free of charge. This past year we provided support to:
- 908 individual women;
- 256 individual children; and
- 15,023 crisis, support, and advocacy calls were managed on the phone lines
Women’s House appreciates everyone’s help in making this event so successful and, in turn, helping us to continue to provide the vital programs and services that help the women and children of our area who have experienced abuse to work towards better lives.