April 30th Event Invited Men to Walk in Heels to Help Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
A record-breaking 200-plus men, women and children of all ages came out on a cloudy Saturday morning to walk in SARC’s 8th annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes®: International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence on April 30, in downtown Bel Air, Maryland. These walkers and supporters contacted over 900 friends and family members, to help raise $62,000 (and still counting) to support SARC’s free victim services. That’s 900 more people made aware of the role they need to fill and the stand they need to take to change societal norms.
The walk stepped off at 11AM sharp with Luisa Caiazzo, SARC’s CEO, welcoming participants and sharing information about the free victim services SARC provides to county residents. She also explained that, just as important as providing these services is the other work that SARC does … trying to stem the tide of victims through bystander intervention activities such as Walk A Mile in Her Shoes®. Caiazzo compared bystander intervention today (speaking up against misogynist jokes, degrading remarks, lewd behaviors, and sexist comments) with smoking intervention a generation ago. “Everyone needs to learn to speak up to prevent violence and to promote a shift in society’s way of thinking of what is acceptable and tolerated just as people learned to speak up and against smoking in restaurants and public places because it was unhealthy,” said Caiazzo.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, was proud to serve as the Honorary Chair again this year. Together with his Director of Administration Billy Boniface, he used this opportunity to encourage all the men of Harford County to be the kind of guy who takes a stand against gender violence.
Joe Foster, captain of team Still Standing Tall, said, “I participate in Walk A Mile every year because when people share their personal stories of abuse with me, it emboldens me to assist SARC with the eradication of domestic violence and sexual assault from our society.”
Dan Driban, captain of the Roving Readers, said, “The most notable difference in Walk A Mile this year is the number of boys and young men who came out to support the cause.”
Alison Althouse, Walk A Mile in Her Shoes® Coordinator, said, “This is a way for SARC to draw attention to the fact that one in two women and one in five men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes. SARC has a multi-tiered goal with this event: to raise awareness about the problem, to provide action steps to combat the problem and to raise funds to provide resources to the problem’s victims in Harford County.”
Donations can still be made by visiting Walk A Mile in Her Shoes® on SARC’s website (www.sarc-maryland.org) or by texting WalkAMile to #71777.
Walk a Mile sponsors included: Harford Mutual Insurance; Decisive Data Systems; Harford’s Heart; Jones Junction; Aaron’s; Saiontz & Kirk; APGFCU; Chick-Fil-A; Ciampaglio Potter & Associates; Innovative Insurance Solutions; Oak Contracting; Elegant Restoration; Harford County Government; Harford County Public Library; Jen Snyder Photography; Pivot Physical Therapy; Barcoding; Jeffrey Horowitz, MD, Plastic Surgeon; Southern States; Sunny Day Café; and Bill Fritz & Sons DJ.
Top Fundraising Teams received a special, designed-for-this-event, one of a kind, glittery red pump “trophy”.
1st Place: Pumped Up! raised $27,400
2nd Place SIAB (Society of Italian American Businessmen) raised $9,700
3rd Place Still Standing Tall, raised $3,400
Top Individual Fundraiser
1st Place– Tony Palumbo $3,045
2nd Place–Jim Hall $1,840
3rd Place — Matt Mullen $1,485
Best Team Name
Blisters for Sisters
Ground Control 2020, a youth lacrosse team with 29 team members.
Flip Flop Awards for Super Fundraisers
Mary Ann Bogarty