A student from HJ Cody poses for a photo with a sign during a past Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. File Photo

A student from HJ Cody poses for a photo with a sign during a past Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. File Photo

Sylvan Lake heels up to combat gender-based violence

Funds raised go towards the women’s Outreach Centre

The H.J. Cody Interact Club will continue conversations and raise awareness around gender-based violence during the fifth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on June 2.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Outreach Centre in Red Deer and promotes education around healthy relationships and gender-based violence.

“It brings awareness to domestic violence that is not widely talked about, especially at this age. It shows that this topic does not need to be stigmatized and that if you need help, there are resources for you out there,” said the event committee chair and Grade 12 student Amelia Balon.

Starting from the H.J. Cody High School, event attendees will be walking to Bethany Sylvan Lake and back in their high heels. The walk has received well over 600 attendees including students and community members during pre-pandemic years.

“The cause was important to students and the silliness that is included to help deal with the darkness of the cause appealed to many,” said high school Interact advisor Alana Routhier. “Our students can make a difference and they wanted to show it.”

While the event is open for all community members, there are more men in heels than women.

Even with a scaled-down event during the past two years of COVID-19, the students continued to raise awareness about domestic violence and the resources available, while fundraising for the cause. Having raised over $4,000 during last year’s event, the organizers aim to meet the $6,000 mark this year.

The event will be covered by a radio station along with a community-sponsored BBQ.

Author and town councilor Teresa Rilling will share her thoughts on the importance of the event before the walk starting at 11:30 a.m.

Parking can be found along the high school road.

High heels for men up to size 16 will be provided at the event. To sign up or donate visit theoutreachcentre.org/events/walkamilesylvanlake. Organizers encourage participants to arrange for the heels ahead of time by emailing arouthier@cesd73.ca.