Men walk in high heels against domestic violence

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes fundraiser at Riverfest

In Riverside Park Thursday night a few hundred men were walking around in high heels.

“Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” is a fundraiser in the fight against domestic violence.

Not too many men know how to walk around in high heels, but a few hundred gather in Riverside Park to walk two laps around the park.

“A lot of fun, but it’s an issue that is anything but funny. Here is an opportunity to garnish some awareness of domestic violence, which happens in our community all to often and also raises funds to help survivors,” senior director of Gundersen’s Medical Foundation David Amborn said.

“The money benefits domestic abuse programs at the YWCA and the Gundersen Health Carilee fund,” Kim Salwolke, member of the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes committee, said.

For Salwolke the walk hits a little closer to the heart. She lost her mom, Carilee, to domestic violence.

“It’s wonderful and I’m sure she would be proud to be attached to it. She is always one to help people and I’m sure she would want everyone to get out of their situation and she would want to help everyone to get out,” Salwolke said.

“It has helped hundreds of survivors since the fund has been created,” Amborn said.

The Carilee Fund helps people who need to get out of a domestic violence situation whether it’s money for groceries or help paying rent.

Unfortunately, this type of help is needed more often then most people think.

“Last year La Crosse County had over 2,000 calls of people requesting help for a domestic violence incident,” Salwolke said.

Salwolke believes more people are in need of help, but don’t always know where to turn to find it. Which is why she thinks having men Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is a great way to show support.

“Maybe they need just a little bit of encouragement to come forward to know that there is help because they can get help and get out of their situation,” she said.

All the money raised from Thursday’s walk goes to domestic violence programs at  the YWCA and the Gundersen Medical Foundation’s Carilee fund.