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Men brave high heel mile

To support women's centerBY KRISTINA HACKER

One day each spring, men and boys from all over Stanislaus County strap on a pair of red, high-heeled shoes and literally walk a mile in “her” shoes, all for a good cause.

For the past three years, Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus has used the archetypal accessory of society’s ideal woman — the high-heeled shoe —to bring attention to domestic violence issues in the community through its Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

This year’s event will be held April 29, starting at the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., in downtown Modesto. Registration and check-in are at 8:30 a.m. and the walk is set to start at 9:30 a.m.

“Last year we had 250 registered walkers, with probably another 100 supporters just coming out to the event and we hope to match that this year,” said Haven Women’s Center Public Relations Manager Denise Hecht.

Haven has hundreds of high-heeled shoes donated for the event, so that the male participants can walk in style. There are also women on site to offer a few tips on the finer points of walking in heels.

“They love it,” said Hecht about the male walkers. “They find it to be very competitive. They’re very eager to walk the mile; they struggle, but they never give up.

“The men seem to encourage their sons and their younger generation family members to come out and walk with them. There’s a lot of enthusiasm,” she continued.

While the event remains focused on men, this year Haven is extending an invitation to the women of Stanislaus County to walk a mile also. Registration for women will include T-shirt and swag bag, but no heels, as these will be reserved for male participants.

Hecht said the proceeds of the event go to Haven Women’s Center to continue providing free services to residents of Stanislaus County, including crisis intervention, shelter for those fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault or sex trafficking, peer counseling and programs designed for youth who have experienced sexual abuse or childhood domestic violence.

Last year, the event had 250 registered walkers with an additional hundred plus supporters and raised close to $50,000 for Haven Women’s Center, said Hecht. This year’s goal is to raise $75,000.

Those wishing to participate in the 2017 event can register a Team Walk (with five or more team walkers), or as an Individual Walker or Student Walker at:

. Those who want to support the event, but do not want to walk can also donate money at the Haven Walk website.

Get Involved

8:30 a.m. April 29
1000 I St., Modesto