February 11, 2013

These heels have a point

They’ll be worn by men at benefit walk for WISH

February 11, 2013 By Wendy Burton Phoenix Staff Writer

— Valentine’s Day marks another chance for men to kick up their heels in honor of the fight against domestic violence.

Women In Safe Home is having “Kick Up Your Heels” this year at Arrowhead Mall, where men, and women if they’d like, wear high heels and totter around to show their support of stopping domestic violence, said Frankie Dunback, the WISH shelter’s director.

“We’re encouraging a lot of people to attend,” Dunback said. “It’ll be fun. And this year, it’s indoors, so we won’t have to worry about the weather.”

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in front of the JCPenney store in Arrowhead Mall with a welcome ceremony before everyone dons heels and begins to stroll — or wobble — around the mall.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the cost is $10 per participant. Proceeds benefit the WISH shelter. Some heels will be available to lend.

Trophies will be awarded for the top fundraising group, the top fundraising individual and the the best-decorated high heels.

Mark Seabolt said many of his Faith-Based Therapeutic Community Corp. participants are looking forward to participating.

“We haven’t all been aware enough of how our actions affect the ladies in our lives,” he said. “So, the more we address this, the more education we have, the less likely it’s going to happen.”

They spent some time this past week decorating the heels they’ve collected and talking about why it’s important to show support for WISH.

Dunback said WISH’s goal is to make Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, the annual Kick Up Your Heels day in Muskogee. Someday, the organizers would like all the high heels to be red, too, she said.

Many people have already promised to come, including several big groups from Connors State College – its baseball team, nursing classes and some staff.

Mike Jackson, west campus administrator, said the fight against domestic violence is especially dear to the students and staff, particularly after the death in a murder-suicide of Melinda Shatto, a CSC employee, last year and the death of former basketball player Anthony Hartfield Jr., during a robbery at his home in Oklahoma City.

“I think all of the violence has for many of us made us see there has to be some changes made,” he said. “We can’t continue to live on our campuses, in our communities and let the violence go on. It’s something now our students know first-hand.”

WISH has a 60-bed shelter for women and their children who are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

The shelter has a 24/7 crisis line, (918) 682-7878, support services that include domestic violence, sexual assault, parenting, nutrition, anger management, court advocacy, emergency transportation, and housing.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Kick Up Your Heels, a walk to raise awareness about domestic violence.

WHEN: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday; walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: In front of JCPenney in Arrowhead Mall.

COST: $10 per participant to benefit Women in Safe Home.

ETC.: Some heels will be available to lend for the event.

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