Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Walk against abuse expands for second year

Saturday, Oct. 2—RUTLAND—Having exceeded all goals for fundraising, participation and raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence last year, organizers of Walk a Mile Rutland County are planning to step it up big for the second-annual walk being held Saturday, Oct. 2.
“The outpouring of community support in our first annual walk was beyond anything we could have hoped for,” said Avaloy Lanning, executive director of the Rutland County Women’s Network & Shelter. “We raised more than $60,000, connected with more than 500 walkers, and inspired people in abusive situations to seek the help they needed. It was the most successful event in our history—and we want to build on that success this fall.”
“This event ensures we can reach out to women and men who face abuse, and provide services necessary to ensure their safety,” Lanning said.
Though red high heels are still encouraged, walkers may wear any red shoes they prefer. Dozens of local community leaders, students, workers and advocates have already begun to pose for photos in red shoes as part of the marketing of the event.
“The publicity over last year’s walk gave several people, including one of my co-workers, the courage to seek help and change their lives,” GMP Vice President Steve Costello said. “It may seem a little frivolous to pose or walk around in red high heels, but the impact of the event was deep and life-changing for some of our friends and neighbors.”
Registration for the Oct. 2 walk is available at The event will begin with check-in starting at 10 a.m. in Main Street Park, with the walk at 11 a.m.
Catamount Radio Program Manager Terry Jaye said he was moved by one of the speakers at last year’s walk, who thanked donors and walkers and described how she escaped years of violence.
“The shelter, counseling and other services change lives,” Jaye said.  “It’s critically important that we as a community support RCWN and ensure it has the resources to help anyone who needs their support.”
Regina Kohlhepp, who with Emme O’Rourke envisioned the walk last year, encouraged clubs, teams, families and co-workers to sign up and walk as a team. “This is a meaningful, compassionate way to help the community, and build bonds with those around you,” she said.  “Together we can end domestic violence in our communities.”

Photo by Expressions by Donna © 2016
Green Mountain Power Vice President Steve Costello, front left, and Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras, center, lead the inaugural Walk a Mile in Rutland County in 2015.

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