Stettler-area men to walk the extra mile

A group of Stettler-area men are prepared to don a pair of women’s high-heel shoes to participate in Stettler’s first

A group of Stettler-area men are prepared to don a pair of women’s high-heel shoes to participate in Stettler’s first “Walk a mile in her shoes” fundraiser, to help break the cycle of family violence.

“I am very impressed that 55 Stettler men have already signed up,” said event chair Lindsey Bromley.

“The local businesses have been very supportive — some have signed-up all their male employees.”

The men plan to walk around West Stettler Park on June 23, from 1 to 4 p.m., in red four-inch heels.

The public is urged to sponsor the men walking with pledges and by coming out to the event in support of their worthy cause.

Men still interested in registering, anyone wishing to pledge money or gain more information on the event may call Bromley at 403-742-0659.

“One hundred per cent of the money raised stays in the Stettler community and is split between the Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) and the Stettler Prevention of Family Violence committee,” said Judi Beebe, executive-director of ACAA.

Beebe said Stettler has the only rural-based counselling service in Alberta for victims of childhood, sexual and domestic violence.

She said 27 men convicted of assaulting their partners have been counselled in the therapy program.

Beebe credits the Stettler Kinettes club for organizing the inaugural event in Stettler.

It’s shaping up to be a “big event.”

The Domino band will provide entertainment and the male members of the band will also be walking.

A complementary community barbeque, sponsored by the Kinettes and Kinsmen, is planned along with a bake sale and children’s games during the afternoon.

Recognition will be given to the walker raising the most funds, the oldest and youngest walkers and the best dressed.

A few Stettler men have been involved in the “Walk a mile in her shoes” program during the past few years at Drumheller.

Devon McMann and Fraser Beebe have walked twice and Lance Penny has walked once.

The funds raised were shared with the Stettler programs, but the men said no one knew them in Drumheller.

“It is a chance for men to say ‘we don’t support domestic violence’,” McMann said.

Beebe raised the most funds at the Drumheller event both years he participated.

He said he volunteered early to encourage other men to do the same.

Beebe is more well-known at Stettler and said with a laugh, “I just hope I don’t fall.”

Penny is the board chair of ACCA and said he thought if he walked it would set a good example.

“It was a rewarding experience — we had lots of “honks” — and raised some funds,” Penny said.

Ryan Stratulate is a first-time walker.

He said he was prompted to walk because “it is a really good cause and there aren’t many fundraisers for it.”

“Plus, I want bragging rights, to prove to my wife I can do it,” he said.