Claremore Daily Progress

April 12, 2013

Safenet Services event increases domestic violence awareness

Tom Fink
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — For the third consecutive year, Safenet Services is organizing “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”, an event to bring awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault in Claremore, Rogers County and the surrounding communities.

Scheduled for Saturday, April 27, Safenet encourages are men, women, and dogs to participate in the fundraising event.
Dogs?
“Something new this year is ‘PAWS for a Cause’ which allows ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ participants to bring their dogs to walk with them,” said Susan Wolfenbarger, Safenet Services assistant director. “We thought this would be a perfect way to encourage more participation and add to the fun of this important event.”
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was created in 2001 by a small group of men wearing high heels, who wanted to bring awareness to sexual assault and raise funds for their local shelter. 
These men grew the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event into a worldwide moment which raises millions of dollars annually for the cause of bringing awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault.
With the month of April designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month  in the U.S., “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and “PAWS for a Cause” are perfect ways to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on the prevention of sexual violence, according to Donna Grabow, executive director, Safenet.
“Safenet has brought this event back as a positive way get people to talk about a negative, difficult issue,” Grabow said. “Everyone — and their dogs — in the community is welcome to walk, men, women, children, businesses, church groups and school organizations. Heels are not a requirement, but fun decorated red shoes are always welcome.” 
Registration fee for the 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. 
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. 
Last year’s events raised $15,000, an amount which Wolfenbarger and Grabow said they would love to exceed or even double
Children and students of any age are also invited to participate. Registration fee is the same and these age groups are encouraged to raise $25, although more is appreciated.
Participants who raise $50 or more will receive a “goody bag” of products, coupons and gifts donated by local businesses. 
“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” walk begins at 9 a.m. from Ne-Mar Center in Claremore, loops through Will Rogers Park and returns. 
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.