BY HAYLEY SMITH
Boys and men stumbled across the streets of downtown Oakville in hot pink high heels this past Sunday in a walk to help end violence against women.
Halton Women’s Place hosted its 8th Annual Hope in High Heels walk in Oakville on Sept. 23, raising funds and awareness to help end violence against women.
Meeting at Centennial Square on the corner of Lakeshore Rd. E and Navy St., volunteers, sponsors, and staff filled the square. Carm Bozzo, development manager, oversees events and is responsible for ensuring that there are walkers and sponsors. She is not only in charge of the Oakville walk, but the Burlington and Milton walks which took place on Saturday Sept. 22.
“We believe that we need men and boys to be a part of the solution, and they are a part of the solution if we ever want to see an end to violence. This event is geared towards boys and men to come out and put on those heels. It’s a very short walk to show that support and to be a part of the future of ending violence against women,” she says.
With about 50 participants in the Oakville walk this year, it was a big success. Among the big crowd of walkers, Rob Burton, mayor of Oakville, lead the walk holding a sign that read Hope in High Heels. He is a “repeat walker” and shows his support every year.
The Oakville walk had Clarks as a sponsor. The shoe company set up a wide variety of their shoes for walkers to see, and even set up a raffle for walkers to win a free pair. Each raffle ticket was $5 and went toward Halton Women’s Place, an organization that provides shelter for physically, and emotionally abused women and their dependent children. The group is dedicated to ending violence against women and their children. Dmitre Chin, a first time participant, walked in support of his wife and new born baby.
“It is important to be part of the solution. I really believe that donating, and walking can help provide information and educate a future without abuse for women,” he says.
The Oakville, Milton, and Burlington walks were huge successes and showed a tremendous amount of support to end violence against women. Bozzo says they are expected to raise close to $120,000 between all three walks.
From police officers to men in kilts, pink heels flooded the streets. Many wives and children walked alongside their loved ones to show their support, and even offer a helping hand.
If you were unable to join the walk and are looking for ways to help, visit Halton Women’s Place to donate online.