Stilettos, sling backs, sandals and platforms were all on the move up and down Market Street in Grand Cayman’s premier shopping center, Camana Bay, for a very important event. It’s known as the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race and was held in support of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, which provides much needed shelter and loving support to women affected by domestic violence.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a global event, but this was the first time the race was established locally in Grand Cayman. Expectations were high, and the men did not disappoint, raising a whopping $53,000 plus for the crisis center. The men, attired in women’s footwear or man-heels, took off in stride solo or in teams to try and win the race and take a firm stand against domestic, sexual and gender violence.
Hundreds of men displayed glamorous shoes or sandals, all happy and ready to take their mark. Some even put on frilly skirts to match their lovely footwear. The participants secured sponsorships ranging from $1 to $1,000 to take part in the competition which consisted of a 5-lap distance.
It was all in good fun, a great crowd turned out and the male species got to experience firsthand what it was like to “walk a mile in someone’s shoes,” as the old saying goes. In this case, it was supporting women who are often victims of violence and showing compassion in a wonderful tribute that raises a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
Fundraising doesn’t come to a stop for the Cayman Island Crisis Centre following the event. The organization is constantly looking for support, according to Executive Director Ania Milanaowska.
“With an annual budget of over $650,000, we receive a $300,000 grant from the Cayman Islands government,” she stated. “However, to raise the outstanding $350,000 we rely heavily on sponsorship from corporations as well as private donors. Our fantastic fundraising committee is working tirelessly to make sure that the remaining funds are raised during different events throughout the year just to cover our operational costs.”
The Crisis Centre is hoping to make the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race an annual fundraiser and is just one of the many things to do in Grand Cayman each year. It brings excellent awareness to situations of violence against women and allows men to participate in their own way and deliver a strong message of support.