Swapping army boots for high heels for a worthy cause

Article / October 24, 2017 / Project number: 17-0333

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By Ashley Materi, 3rd Canadian Division Public Affairs

Edmonton, Alberta — Over 400 men participated in Edmonton’s YWCA “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser on September 20, 2017, teetering along a downtown block in high heels to raise awareness and funds for survivors of domestic violence.

Ten members of the Canadian Army (CA)’s 3rd Canadian Division (3 Div) joined in the annual event, including 3 Div Commander Brigadier-General Trevor Cadieu and Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Stevens, the Division Sergeant-Major. Colonel Scott McKenzie, Chief Warrant Officer James Doppler, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Beare from 3 Canadian Support Group also took part.

This was the first year that BGen Cadieu participated in the event, and he said the decision to participate was a “no-brainer.”

“Any violence against women or children is both cowardly and unacceptable,” BGen Cadieu said.  “So it’s important for me personally to be here today, but also that, collectively as part of 3rd Canadian Division, we represent ourselves with strength at this event.”

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” raises money for YWCA programs that support survivors of domestic violence, funding affordable counselling services, psychological service support for crisis shelters, violence prevention programs for girls, and a domestic violence recovery program. The goal was to raise $190,000, which was surpassed before the event even happened.

This year was the second time that LCol Beare took part.

“It was really good to be a part of it,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to come in uniform to show that we’re part of the community and we support the same causes as they do.”

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson also strapped on a pair of high heels to walk and said he was humbled by the opportunity.

“I think when we have role models like that stepping forward, it makes a huge difference,” said Mr. Iveson.

Edmonton YWCA CEO Jackie Foord addressed participants and spectators, explaining where the funds raised would be put to use. 

 “On behalf of all the women, children and families and the YWCA, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being here today.”

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