The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser will not be taking to Canyon Street en mass this year.

Men rocking a pair of bright red high heels may instead film themselves strutting their stuff, and then send the footage to the Kootenai Community Centre Society (KCCS).

“We’re asking people to do the walks on their own or in small groups of work cohorts or family groups,” said KCCS Board Member and Walk a Mile Organiser Rhonda Kirby. “Film and photograph that walk and then submit that to us so we can put it together for a montage.”

For men who somehow do not already own a pair of lipstick-red heels, KCCS will gladly provide them.

“We have beautiful high-heel red shoes in sizes from in sizes from 9 up to, I think, 13,” Kirby added. “They are designed for men.”

The shoes are reserved for participants. There is still plenty of time from now until the deadline to collect pledges, record and shoot the fierce walk, and then return the shoes and pledges to KCCS. Kirby only asks that the raised funds come in cheque or cash form as that portion of the fundraiser is not online.

“Participating walkers are invited to register their walk at www.kootenaicommunitycentre.org, all walks must be completed with video and photos submitted by June 6th, with the awards ceremony slated for June 19th,” said long-time participant and Fundraising Committee Member Blaze Dobson.

Creston Fire Rescue along with many more community leaders participated in 2019 (Supplied by CFR)

In addition, there will also be prizes for the most pledges and the most unique place to walk for groups and individuals.

Unfortunately, the global pandemic cancelled last year’s Walk a Mile event.

“It’s such an important event,” Dobson added. “It gives men a fun opportunity to challenge sexualized violence with less defensiveness and denial.”

All of the funds raised locally will go towards helping KCCS programs which are offered for free to those in need.

“We offer a shelter for persons feeling or experiencing abuse as well as outreach programs for anyone 19 and older,” said KCCS Supervisor Rebecca Gidney. “We also have an older women’s program, for women 55 plus. We also work with women who have experienced past abuse.”

Gidney added that KCSS offers resources to streamline child support or child protective services.

Since 2001, men, women, and their families around the world have participated in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. Based on the old saying “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” the event is designed to raise awareness about the serious causes and effects of men’s sexualized violence (www.walkamileinhershoes.org).

Kootenai Community Centre Society is a non-profit charitable organization providing services and support to women and their families within the Creston Valley and east shore of Kootenay Lake. Under our umbrella are the following programs: Irvine House (women’s shelter/safe house); Older Women’s Safe Home; Supportive Housing; Outreach Support; and child care (through Teddy Bear Day Care and Grizzly Bear Out-Of-SchoolCare).