Skip to content

Putting your money where your feet are to end domestic violence

Colinton man dons women’s shoes to Walk a Mile

ATHABASCA — Every September for a decade now, local men have been gathering at the Riverfront Stage to literally walk in a woman’s shoes — maybe not for a mile, but long enough to gain some perspective. 

They did it to raise money for the Athabasca and Area Prevention of Relationship Abuse Action Committee or PRAAC, as part of the long-running Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, but for the last two years the non-profit has had to produce creative ways to get the donations they need to keep the program open. This year it was all virtual. 

“Our community is absolutely amazing,” said organizer Tamara Yurchak in an e-mail Oct. 14. “We (PRAAC) knew that an increase of $8,000 to $23,000 was a big jump from the usual $15,000 goal; and choosing to go virtual added another level of challenge.” 

Last year, the group produced a video which included local woman Nattolie Chilton who used her long-ago experience with domestic violence to highlight the need for groups like PRAAC in helping families get away from the violence. 

And this year eight men signed up, added their profile to the website, and asked friends and family to donate. And donate they did. Of the $21,338 raised, as of Oct. 14, $10,000 was donated split evenly between Royal LePage County Realty and Athabasca University as the top corporate donors and the remaining $11,338 came through the efforts of participants like Amit Parmar and Russell Damon. 

Parmar, from RX Drug Mart IDA in Athabasca, raised the most funds this year at $1,898, the third time he’s topped the list. Damon, who lives in Colinton, put his money where his feet are, donning a pair of women’s shoes made for him by his wife Renee Nicholson, then walking around the hamlet on Thanksgiving Day, and raising over $1,100. As an aside, a week earlier his seven-year-old daughter Abby Damon rode her bike on the same route, collecting over $470 for cancer research in the CIBC Run for the Cure. 

“To be almost at our goal is wonderful, but I'm hoping that by reading this article, the community will help us out and get us there,” Yurchak said, hoping for a few more donations totalling the $1,662 left to reach the finish line. "To donate, credit card donations can be made; just visit and the donation button is on the home page." 

Heather Stocking

About the Author: Heather Stocking

Heather Stocking a reporter at the Athabasca Advocate, a weekly paper in Northern Alberta. Heather covers all aspects of the news in and around Athabasca and Boyle as well as other small communities.
Read more