Great Bend’s sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event raised awareness and funds to combat violence against women.
Once again, teams of men walked and ran in red high heels for this event that benefits the Family Crisis Center.
This year’s special guest was M.L. Carr, former star for the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics. He joined Hannah Maddy, Miss Barton County, and Brian Ewing from Eagle Radio, a cochairman of this year’s event, as well as Family Crisis Center Director Laura Patzner on stage.
“Before we get started, I want to take a moment to remember those women who are unable to stand with us,” Ewing said. “We want to remember Teresa Carter, Bobbie Jo Ralston, Alicia DeBolt, Michelle Heggemier, Rhiannon Young and Susan Bagby, who were killed as a result of violence against women.”
Patzner said that earlier in the day she attended a “mini walk” at the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility. They raised $57 to combat violence against women. There was also a Larned team at the main event.
Maddy invited all of the men to pose for a “selfie.” Raising her phone/camera, she said, “Show us your shoes!”
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a fun event with a serious message, Maddy said. “Every 2 minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted.”
Carr, whose listed height is 6 feet 6 inches tall, joked that the high heels made him taller. “I feel like Shaquille O’Neal,” who is 7 inches taller.
“This is going to be a very short presentation — because this isn’t easy,” Carr said, pointing to the 4-inch heels.
Carr said his sister was a victim of domestic violence for 20 years, but he didn’t know it. When he found out, he joined the board of directors of Futures Without Violence.
“One in five girls are sexually assaulted,” he said. “Over 10 million kids every year are witnesses to domestic violence. ... It’s time for the foolishness to stop. No one deserves to be bullied, to be intimidated, to be hit or put down.”
After the pledge walk and relay in heels, awards went to “The Coaches,” from Barton Community College, for the fastest relay time. The team of four coaches included Dave Schenek, Tony Davis, Parker Cowles and Ousmane Camara. Top individual pledge earner was Don Davis, for the second year. Larned Juvenile Correction Facility won the award for top team pledge; they wore special shirts in honor of Susan Bagby, formerly of Kinsley, who died in February in Oklahoma. Doug Waddington, warden of Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, won “Most Graceful” and Kevin Stegman won “Most Likely To Turn an Ankle,” after he actually did turn an ankle. Brian Ewing won the “Mannin’ Up” award for all of his work; the other cochairman was Kristie Kelly.