Hundreds come out to support 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' fundraiser


They were uncomfortable and a little unsteady, but for more than 80 men the long walk in four inch heels was a price they were willing to pay.

The unusual sight was part of the fifth annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," a charity event held in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to support Auberge Transition, a shelter for women fleeing domestic violence.

"We have nine bedrooms and I can actually say that we're almost at full capacity 365 days of the year," Auberge Transition Director Irene Jansson said.

"So a woman leaves and within 24 hours we have another woman coming in."

While the facility receives funding from the provincial government, they have to raise more than a $100,000 every year to maintain operations. Jansson says the money provided by the walk will go a long way in reaching that fundraising goal.

"It's transportation, it's food, it's all the necessities women need during their stay because there's no financial piece attached to being at the shelter so everything is free," Jansson said.

Last year, organizers say that the walk raised more than 25 per cent of the money the shelter needed as fundraising. This year, with the event growing even bigger, they have their eyes set on 40 per cent.

"It has doubled in just last year to this year," organizer Aline Zafirian said. "From the first year we were a few walkers and today we've become 86 walkers, more than 200 people have showed up today."

While not all the men who took part were able to go the distance, it's all part of sending an important message, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery said.

"If we're going to change things in our society in terms of violence against women and children we have to get men involved."

With files from Matt Grillo