GREAT BEND — The Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility (LJCF) recently participated in Great Bend’s sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes relay race. The event is a playful opportunity for men to increase awareness in their community, as well as to raise funds to combat violence against women.
This year’s special guest was former Boston Celtic M.L. Carr, National Basketball Association player.
“It’s time for the foolishness to stop,” said Carr. “No one deserves to be bullied, to be intimidated, to be hit or put down.”
Laura Patzner, Family Crisis Center director of Great Bend, spoke in honor of victims whose lives were taken by domestic violence.
“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
She also gave praise for LJCF’s commitment to the cause.
Staff member Kasi Schartz designed the T-shirts that the facility sold as a fund-raiser; these shirts included a dedication to honor Susan Bagby, formerly of Kinsley, who died Feb. 28, 2015. Bagby, the daughter of Tim Bagby and Celeste (Williamson) Schroetlin, died when she was 32 years old in Tulsa, Okla.
Patzner recognized LJCF for raising awareness within the youth population; earlier in the day, a “mini-walk” was conducted for these young men, who generously donated $57 of their own money to help with this wonderful cause.
With everyone in good spirits, the men on the LJCF team donned red high heels to run, walk, and hobble the one-mile relay race.
In the awards ceremony which followed, LJCF was recognized for being the top team pledge. Team member Kevin Stegman won the Most Likely to Turn an Ankle award after he actually did turn an ankle.
But though the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a fun event, it carries a serious message, said Patzner.
“Every two minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted. One in five girls is sexually assaulted, and over 10 million kids every year are witnesses to domestic violence.”