‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ fundraiser set for April 25Apr 18, 2014 Uncategorized
Akron, Ohio, April 18, 2014 – Staff at the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties hope a few sore calves could raise over $60,000 during its 9th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser on April 25.
After dramatic growth in participation throughout the past few years, Crisis Center Director Dana Zedak said she hopes to draw 1,000 participants – doubling last year’s figure – to the mile-long trek in women’s shoes.
“This event is short and fun, and it’s meant to draw attention to the issue and get people engaged,” Zedak said.
The event, which starts at 5 p.m., will send teams and individuals from Lock 3 Park for a mile-long walk in women’s shoes around downtown Akron.
Ten well-heeled teams, including Akron personal injury firm Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR), the Criminal Justice Association of the University of Akron and the Summit County Juvenile Court committed to raising at least $2,000 for the cause.
Brandy Brewer, director of operations at KNR, said the firm would be participating in its third Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event with a 75-member team. The past two years, KNR raised the most money of any sponsor.
“I was a volunteer at the Rape Crisis Center before I started working at KNR,” she said. “My position here is 50 to 60 hours per week, so this is how I can stay involved.”
Also in the “Big Ten” are teams from Oriana House, Gavin Scott Salon & Spa, Hospital Heroes, the Hudson Fire Department Association, Akron Children’s Hospital and the TKE fraternity at The University of Akron.
Zedak said that this year’s event features a unique focus on survivors of sexual violence. For the first time in the Akron walk’s history, such survivors may elect to wear a free t-shirt signifying their resilience and openness. The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and Akron firm Roetzel & Andress helped pay for the survivor shirts.
“We need to be moving toward this, where it’s more acceptable to be open,” Zekad said. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an international event, started 11 years ago, according to Zedak. One of the Crisis Center’s staff stumbled across the Walk on the Internet and planted the seed for the Akron iteration two years later.
“There has been a focus over the years of it being men walking in women’s high heels, but it’s really at this point more about the community coming together,”
Zedak said. “The concept is still the same.”
The Crisis Center’s first Walk drew around 30 participants, most of whom were fraternity brothers from TKE. Last year, the event drew over 500, and Zedak said she has already registered 10 more teams than in 2013 and actively encourages anyone to participate.
“We welcome people to attend the event even if they haven’t been a part of a team or raised money for the event – even if it’s their first time,” she said.
The Rape Crisis Center provides both free and confidential direct services to those affected by rape as well as education about sexual violence. Zedak said she hopes to expand the organization – which operates under a budget slightly less than $300,000 – in the near future to work more closely with The University of Akron.
Currently, the Crisis Center offers judicial advocacy services for survivors taking legal action in county or municipal courts. It also collaborates with other agencies in offering the Tina Project, an educational initiative that helps area schools comply with a state law requiring training to avoid teen dating violence and promote healthy relationships, according to its website. The organization also offers support groups for survivors. Zedak encouraged anyone affected by sexual assault, abuse or rape to call a 24/7 hotline at (330) 434-7273 where other survivors can offer emotional support and practical advice.
If you would like more information about this KNR news story or if you or someone you know is the victim of a personal injury accident, please contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW or visit www.knrlegal.com.