Findlay men step upWritten by Lauren Farnsworth | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Findlay men are taking a stance, in high heels. Men of all ages will sport the shoes during a walk to benefit Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services.
This is the second time Findlay is holding Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. The non-profit organization began in 2001 and is held in multiple locations to benefit area rape crisis centers.
“It was kind of an interesting concept … Nothing like seeing a biker guy wearing four inch heels,” said Pete Sehnert, mayor of Findlay.
“I didn’t expect to even get a couple of blocks,” Sehnert said. “Once I got walking it wasn’t too bad but I can not understand how ladies can wear those shoes and some of them can even run in them. I gotta give them credit for going through that torture.”
Sehnert is an active supporter. He participated in the walked last year and will do so this year. During his 26 years as a police officer, Sehnert has been involved with domestic violence situations.
“I know that it is one of the most serious crimes that we deal with day to day,” Sehnert said. “You don’t have a murder every day or a bank robbery every day, but domestic violence is one that touches every facet of life. I don’t care if you make $8 million a year or $8 thousand a year, domestic violence touches everybody. It’s an important issue that needs the support of the community.”
Last year the event raised $15,000 for Open Arms, according to Jodi DeVore, communications coordinator at Open Arms.
“We do one fundraiser every year wanted to do something that was fun for the community, get the guys involved and raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence” DeVore said. “We came across Walk a Mile in Her shoes… and just fell in love with the event.”
Last year there were 90 registered walkers. DeVore is expecting 200 this year. Participants can register individually or as a team.
Awards will be given out in the following categories: best dressed, best legs, best strut and most likely to break a heel.
“I think everybody had a pretty good time last year, some of the guys had really weird outfits, some of them went all out,” Sehnert said. “I just wore the shoes, I was pretty conservative compared to the others.”
The adult that raises the most pledge money will receive a ‘Flavor of Findlay Basket’ filled with gift certificates to hotels, restaurants, and more. The student that raises the most money will win a new bicycle valued at $400.
Four passes to Great Wolf Lodge, four passes for the Miller Boat Line to Put-in-Bay and a $700 stainless steel Whirlpool dishwasher will be raffled off.
There will also be a kid’s area run by a local daycare. Activities will include face painting, balloon animals and sand art.
Walk a Mile will be held Saturday April 24 at Riverside Park. The opening ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the mile-long walk at 12:15 p.m.
Participants can register online at www.openarmsfindlay.org or at the event starting at 10 a.m. The registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for students. Students under 16 walk free with an adult.
Adults that bring their own high heels receive $10 off registration. Anyone that raises $200 in pledges will have their registration fees waived.
“It was very interesting to see the wide range of people, we had high school boys and older gentlemen walking. It was a wide range of different professions and people,” Sehnert said.