By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2013
Daisy, a three-year-old Great Dane, and Lola, a six-year-old Chihuahua, are ready, along with their owners, Adrina and Adrian Watta, to participate in Safenet’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes & PAWS for a Cause.
Four-footed walkers will be joining the cause to bring awareness to and raise funds for domestic violence and sexual assault in Rogers and Mayes Counties, when Safenet Services hosts its third annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on Saturday, April 27. With the addition of PAWS for a Cause, supporters are invited to bring their canine friends to join in the fundraiser. “We decided to include dogs this year to encourage more participation and add to the fun,” says Susan Wolfenbarger, Safenet Services assistant director.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a national event, began in 2001 when a small group of men tottered around a park in high heels to bring attention to and raise funds for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs. It has grown into a worldwide movement with millions raised each year for the cause.
The event, designed to be fun and to get communities talking about something really difficult to talk about – gender relations and sexual violence – will begin at 9 a.m. in Claremore. Walkers and dogs will begin the one-mile trek at the Ne-Mar Center, loop through Will Rogers Park and return.
“We had a great turnout last year with over 120 walkers, including men, women and children showing up for the Claremore walk,” says Wolfenbarger. “This will be the second year we host a walk in Pryor.” The Pryor walk will begin at 2 p.m. with participants beginning at the courthouse gazebo.
Registration fee for either event is $15. Walkers who pre-register will receive a T-shirt. For those who wait to register on the day of the event, T-shirts will be available for a $10 additional fee. Pre-registration begins at 8 a.m. in Claremore and 1 p.m. in Pryor.
A suggested minimum of $50 in personal sponsorships per walker is encouraged, Wolfenbarger adds. There is also a $10 entry fee for the PAWS for a Cause. “You can ask your co-workers, friends and relatives to support your walk,” she says, “or invite them to join the walk too. Domestic violence affects everyone.” Last year’s events raised $15,000. “We’d love to see the number of walkers double this year to support this cause,” says Wolfenbarger.
Youngsters and students of any age are also invited to participate. The registration fee is the same and these age groups are encouraged to raise $25. “They don’t have to stop at that amount though,” Wolfenbarger adds.
Participants who raise $50 or more will receive a goody bag of products, coupons and gifts donated by local businesses. People are encouraged to register in advance by going online to www.safenetservices.org, where they can find the registration form, or by calling (918) 341-1424.
Walkers are encouraged to wear red shoes or red on their shoes for the event. “We will be selling red ribbons that day for $2 each,” she adds. “You can tie them to your shoes.” However, wearing red is not required. Participants are also encouraged to form a team and give your group a name. Anyone who wants to get a team together can have fun during the one-mile walk. “You can invite co-workers, church members and friends to form a team. Each individual walks at his or her own pace.”
“Domestic violence and sexual assault are not just women’s issues,” says Wolfenbarger. “It affects the men who care about them, their families, their friends, their coworkers, and their communities. One in four American women is a victim. That means someone you know, someone you care about, has been or may become the victim of sexual violence. It may be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, your coworker, or your daughter.” All proceeds will directly benefit Safenet Services’ clients.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.