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BLACKFOOT â€” Approximately 90 men, women and children walked a mile through downtown Blackfoot on Saturday to speak out against sexual assault and gender violence in the first "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event. Participants raised and donated more than $3,600 for the Bingham Crisis Center.
The walk began shortly after 11 a.m. at the Bingham Crisis Center at 288 N. Shilling. Walkers travelled south on Shilling Avenue before walking down Judicial Street to Broadway, over to Bridge Street and back to Northwest Main, where they walked along the road to Alice Street and back to the Crisis Center, completing one mile.
Most of the men completed the walk in high heelsâ€”some as high as five inches tall.
Bingham County Civil Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cornelison was joined in the walk by others in the prosecutor's office as well as several law enforcement officers, many of whom deal with domestic violence cases.
"It's an important issue," Cornelison said. "I think it's something that needs to be addressed."
Gordon Wankier, branch manager of Zions Bank, said he walked to support the Crisis Center.
"I think the Bingham Crisis Center is one of the great things about our community," Wankier said. "It's a service that is needed."
Charles Gasper donned a five-inch pair of gold heels for the walk. He said his family always donates items to the Crisis Center and they're happy to help when it's needed.
Blackfoot High School teachers Chuck Reay and Cleon Chapman wore high heels throughout the week at school, collecting nearly $1,500 in pledges from teachers and students at the school. They earned a traveling trophy featuring a red high-heeled shoe to display at BHS for their efforts.
"I just think it's a good cause," Reay said, adding that it's good to get the kids involved in helping the community.
Bingham Crisis Center Director Dixie Chapman said she was impressed with the number of people, especially the men, who came out to show their support for the Crisis Center.
"It will definitely be an annual event," she said.
The Bingham Crisis Center Board of Directors organized the event. Several volunteers including Boy Scouts, Citizens on Patrol and the local Law Enforcement Association gave their time to help make the event a success. Several local businesses also donated items for the walk.