RUTLAND — With families, businesses, educators and individuals stepping up, organizers of the Rutland County “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®” have reached their initial fundraising goal of $50,000 in cash and pledges.
Now they are focused on signing up walkers to take part in the fund- and awareness-raising event set for Oct. 18 to highlight domestic violence issues and benefit the Rutland County Women’s Network & Shelter.
“The support for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® has been overwhelming, with longtime supporters and new friends providing an amazing lift to the effort,” said RCWNS Executive Director Avaloy Lanning, MSW. “We want to make domestic violence a thing of the past, and education and awareness are the key tools.”
RCWNS announced plans for the event Aug. 20, backed by organizers of the Gift-of-Life Marathon, WJJR-FM and Green Mountain Power, which are collaborating as presenters of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.® Working with RCWNS staff and event co-chairs Emme O’Rourke and Regina Kohlhepp, sponsors have donated or pledged $50,237 to date.
“Put a challenge in front of people in Rutland County, and they will move mountains to meet it,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello. “I thought we had a shot at the goal, but thought it would take a lot longer to do it.”
“It doesn’t surprise me a bit,” said WJJR’s Terry Jaye said. “The heart and soul in this community are unrivaled, and this shows it one more time.”
“In coming together to face yet another challenge to our community, we can begin to break the silence and start talking out loud about domestic violence” said Kohlhepp.
O’Rourke, Kohlhepp and others are joining the staff RCWNS to recruit local sports teams and groups from local businesses, government, nonprofits and other organizations to participate in the event, which will include music, food and educational information about domestic violence. For more information, visit www.rcwn.org or www.walkamileinhershoes.org.