Walk A Mile In Her Shoes raises $94,000 for victims of domestic violence

Dwayne Dubois receives award: Sue Tomney, left, presenting best walker award to Dwayne Dubois, right, at the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ fund-raiser event in at SouthCentre Mall on Sept. 15, 2019. This event is to raise awareness about domestic violence, letting everyone know they are not alone. The YWCA raises money every year for shelters, and for women and children fleeing domestic violence. (Photo by Amber Sugai/The Press)

More than $94,000 was raised on Sept. 15 for victims of domestic violence by YWCA’s 14th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

The fund-raiser ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ had 130 participants in the event, at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary.

“This event was designed for people to come together to speak up, walk a mile in heels to raise some money for the programs we offer, for women and families that are fleeing domestic violence,” said Sue Tomney, chief executive officer of the fund-raiser.

The YW Calgary is the largest women’s support organization in Calgary, providing a crisis shelter, transitional and supported housing, counselling, parenting support, childcare, and employment programs to help women from crisis to stability.

This year’s event took place in SouthCentre Mall, and because everyone was walking indoors, Tomney hoped that this year would garner more awareness for the cause and what the YW has to offer.

“I think it’s going to be bigger, a different audience, friends and neighbours are here. I think it’s going to be a better year,” said Tomney.

Alberta has the third highest rate for domestic violence in Canada. In Calgary, the number for domestic violence is at a higher rate than ever.

This event helps spread awareness that domestic violence is still out there, and should not be swept under the rug – Ramona Tomkins

The YW has helped 2,500 women in the past year, and 1,500 children find safe homes and get the help they need.

Shane Byciuk, a participant for 10 years, believes this event is important for everyone. He said he has donated to the fundraiser in the past and will continue to donate.

Byciuk said that Calgary has such a high rate for domestic violence that events like these are so important.

“Domestic violence is such a serious issue in our city, it does not get enough exposure. Events like ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ will help Calgarians think about this more,” said Byciuk.

Ramona Tomkins, attendee of Walk Mile in Her Shoes said she goes to the event every year to support the cause.

“This event helps spread awareness that domestic violence is still out there, and should not be swept under the rug,” said Tomkins.