Walk a Mile coming to Tisdale for the first time

TISDALE — The 7th annual North East Outreach and Support Services (NEOSS) Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is taking place in Tisdale, for the first time in the group’s history.

Typically the event is held in Melfort. Its fifth year was held in Nipawin.

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Louise Schweitzer, executive director with North East Outreach, said they’re very pleased to be able to move it around.

“The community of Tisdale showed an interest very early, actually, at last year’s Walk a Mile,” Schweitzer said. “They formed their own committee and are organizing it and running it out of Tisdale.”

For Walk a Mile, men walk one mile in four-inch high-heeled shoes as a public statement of support for victims of domestic, sexualized and gender violence.

Men can register as a single entry or as a team of four to eight members. Other genders are also welcome to walk in support of victims or the men who walk.

On May 7, local members of the provincial legislature wore heels in support of event.

“Every individual in our community I think stands as important,” Schweitzer said. “Our MLAs have the opportunity to do policy change at a provincial level. Every man that walks that walk has the opportunity to make a public change at home and in their communities, even be it that they speak with someone and say, ‘You know what? That’s not right. You can come to me and I’ll help you get services.’”

The primary purpose for the walk is to raise awareness within the community about domestic, sexualized and gender violence.

“In my opinion that has always been the biggest thing,” Schweitzer said. “Raising awareness, getting people talking, making public statements. Getting people to remove the stigma of violence. Making, possibly the victims, that are living in communities, and are unsure of the strength and where they can go to for help – making them feel safe and realizing that, ‘You know what? This person is walking as a community member. I know they would understand and I know they would be a safe haven if I needed them.’”

The secondary purpose of Walk a Mile is as a fundraiser for North East Outreach.

While it isn’t necessarily as large of an annual fundraiser for them as Ladies’ Night, Walk a Mile lands in the top three.

“So it is a way to raise some funds for us to continue with our programming to enable us to go out into those communities.”

Schweitzer said while the fundraising is secondary a goal to awareness, it’s also important.

“It allows us at North East Outreach to expand our services past the funding that’s allocated through our programs.”

The event will be held on Tuesday, May 28, starting at the Tisdale Town Square at 6 pm.

As of May 10 North East Outreach has 59 walkers signed up for the event.

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