Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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February 5, 2014

Fundraiser generates awareness of violence on women

CHEROKEE COUNTY — Break out the shoe polish and the Bedazzler, men: The 4th Annual “Walk-A-Mile-in-Her-Shoes” is taking shape.

Designed to raise awareness – and funds – for the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties, “Walk A Mile” is a one-mile men’s walk through downtown Jacksonville on April 12 … and all the men make the trek in heels.

Roger Pharr, the crisis center's director of programs and development, said “Walk-A-Mile” is the most fun event he has been a part of.

“I’m in my fourteenth year at the Crisis Center. We’ve had golf tournaments, golf marathons, 5K runs, duck races, bake sales and concerts. 'Walk A Mile' is the one that has caught on with the community the most and has raised the most funds for our services to survivors in our community,” he said. “The guys enjoy the encouragement and walking tips shouted from those watching!”

The Crisis Center assists survivors of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse through services such as licensed professional counseling, safe housing, protective order assistance and personal advocacy.

This past year’s event brought more than $28,000 to the Crisis Center at a time when it was

desperately needed, said Pharr.

“The economy was not in good shape and grantors were looking at cutting back, but our community really stepped up to support us by supporting our walkers,” he recalled.

Between now and the day of the event, male participants are tasked with getting friends, coworkers and family to sponsor them in any amount for the walk.

This year, the Crisis Center is encouraging businesses and civic groups to form Walk Teams of men to walk together and raise funds together. A trophy will be awarded to the Walk Team raising the most funds.

 An award will also be given to the individual raising the most funds. Additional awards will be given for Best Blinged Shoes, Best Over-All Outfit and winner of the Stiletto-Dash-for-Cash, a 100-yard dash, in heels, immediately after the walk.

The registration fee is $10 and walkers provide their own heels.

“Most shoe stores carry up to a size 12 women’s shoe, which is a men’s 10 ½,” said Mr Pharr. “We can help walkers who need larger shoes find them through different websites we have used in previous years.”  

 To register, contact the Crisis Center’s office at 903-586-9118. Forms can be e-mailed, “snail-mailed” and are available to download on the Crisis Center’s Facebook page or at www.mycrisiscenter.com.

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