Local men walk a mile in her shoes against sexual violence
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Volunteers present "walking" shoes to arriving men. They were rented to men who don't own their own high-heels.
Eighty six men, all wearing an assortment of women's shoes, walked a mile through Pottsville as part of the 3rd annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes benefit for the Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center of Schuylkill County (SARCC).
"In addition to raising needed funds, the walk was also held to raise awareness about the serious effects of sexual violence," said volunteer Conrad Flynn, Nesquehoning, of Concur New Media.
The annual event kicked off at the Humane Fire Company and continued to Centre Street, then Market Street and eventually back to the fire company.
"The organization, founded in 2009, has seen about 1,800 men, women and children who have been victims of sexual violence," said Jenny Murphy-Shifflet, president and CEO of SARCC.
"This is a fun event for people to come together and say that they are not going to tolerate violence in their community," added Murphy-Shifflet. "What's important is it gives an opportunity for men to take a stand against sexual violence because a majority of men in our community do not hurt others. We want to see men as part of the solution, not the problem."
Dressed as a Superwoman, Matthew Digilio, native of Lansford now living in Spokane, Wash., said that he walked to help raise awareness in the community.
Organizers said that all of the funds raised from the event stay with SARCC in Schuylkill County to help victims of sexual violence.
"There's some pretty amazing shoes here and in those shoes are some pretty amazing men who are sure of themselves and what they want to do in this community," Murphy-Shifflet added.
"We are having fun for a great cause," said Eric Becker, who wore high heels and women's clothing. Becker won for most-stylish.
"More people need to get involved in this great community walk because it definitely is an issue, and we need this to say 'No more'," said county Commissioner Gary J. Hess, who participated for the third time.
"It was tougher than I thought," exclaimed Digilio. "It was my first time in heels."