Men March in Heels for Annual ‘Walk a Mile’
Hawai‘i Island YWCA hosts the ninth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. Taking a literal interpretation of the old expression, the event features male participants completing a one-mile walk through downtown Hilo in high-heeled shoes.
The march begins and ends at the YWCA Ululani Street campus. Hawai‘i County Mayor’s Executive Assistant Barrett Otani, County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, Hawai‘i Police Chief Paul Ferreira, Deputy Police Chief Kenneth Bugado Jr. and radio personality Darrin “DC” Carlson will lead this year’s march.
The walk localizes an ongoing national movement to bring awareness to rape, sexual assault and gender-based violence. While men are encouraged to don high heels and walk a mile, the nonprofit invites all men and community members to come out and march in demonstration against sexual assault.
Walk a Mile is a fundraiser for the YWCA’s Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) program. The goal is to raise $25,000 to support SASS services, which includes a 24/7 sex assault crisis hotline (808) 935-0677, a medical forensic exam program and counseling support for survivors and their families. Services are free and offered islandwide.
“Men play a crucial role in ending gender-based violence,” said CEO of YWCA Hawai‘i Island Kathleen McGilvray, “The walk gives men the opportunity to take stand on sex assault issues and unite with women, children and the community-at-large to make our island home a safer place.”
In 2017, money raised through Walk a Mile helped SASS respond to 2,150 crisis calls from or on behalf of victims of sexual violence. The program opened 329 cases, provided 1,929 hours of therapy to 167 people and performed 58 forensic medical exams.
March participants should report to the kick-off site located at 145 Ululani St. in Hilo by 7:30 a.m. to register, select shoes and warm up for the walk. Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by awards ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Prizes awarded to top fundraisers (team and individual) and best decorated shoes.
All participants must complete an entry form and submit a $25 registration fee. Participants with a minimum of $100 in pledges can register for free; all those with $150 in pledges receive free registration and a Walk a Mile souvenir t-shirt.