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Seeking: over 30 well-heeled gentlemen

Howe Sound Women’s Centre event to raise money for new Whistler drop-in



Sheila Allen would like nothing more than to see at least 30 men wearing bright red stilettos parading along Whistler Village stroll Saturday.

The executive director of the Howe Sound Women's Centre said the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser is crucial to raise money for her organization's programs - and the more men the better.

Funds raised by men participating over the weekend will go towards establishing a new women's drop-in centre in Whistler.

"Right now we are looking for more involvement," said Allen. "We have 10 confirmed for Whistler. We are putting it out there, to see if Whistler is up for the challenge and to see if they can get 30 walkers or not."

Among the men confirmed to participate in this Saturday's challenge is Whistler's Mayor Ken Melamed and councillor Chris Quinlan.

The mayor said he is glad to don a pair of women's high-heeled shoes and pound pavement with other men on Saturday between Moguls Coffee House and Skier's Plaza.

"I am happy to walk a mile to raise awareness in the hopes of eliminating sexual violence towards women and children and to raise funds for the Howe Sound Women's Centre's programs," he said.

"I very strongly support this cause and the work of the centre, and I'd like to encourage the whole community to come march in support," he said.

Last week, the Howe Sound Women's Centre raised $4,361 in cash and $3,328 in in-kind donations in Squamish with their second Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Allen would like to see that number matched, at least, this weekend in Whistler.

Her goal is to raise $5,000 in cash to help build the drop in centre by next year.

"We are actually trying to get a drop in centre happening in Whistler for women, and we also have 25 kids on our waitlist for children-who-witness-abuse counseling," said Allen. "We are trying to raise as much money as possible. There is a real need there."

Men are encouraged to gather pledges and bring awareness about the event as they prepare for the big day in which they will march approximately one mile in women's high heeled shoes.

The Saturday fundraiser is part of a worldwide march that asks men to literally walk one mile in women's high-heeled shoes and raise awareness of gender relations and sexual violence. Similar marches have been held across Canada and the United States, as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

Last year the event was held for the first time in Squamish, where the Howe Sound Women's Centre raised $8,000.

Men interested in participating in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event can contact the Howe Sound Women's Centre at . If people can't make the event and want to donate, they can go online at .

The Howe Sound Women's Centre supplies the shoes for the day with the $12 registration fee.



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