Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 30, 2012

Men ‘Walk A Mile’ for women’s cause

TAHLEQUAH — To the casual onlooker, the parade of men wobbling down Muskogee Avenue Saturday morning in high -heeled shoes may have appeared outrageous.

In reality, those men risked injury and pain to show support for Help-In-Crisis in the second annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes awareness event Saturday.

The fundraiser garnered many volunteers, both walkers and those helping behind the scenes, as well as spectators in a fun event that brought people from various backgrounds together in support of the serious matter of preventing domestic violence.

HIC Executive Director Deana Franke, director of HIC, was elated to have such a large turnout.

“This is about standing up and saying we don’t want that kind of violent behavior in our community,” said Franke.

Many volunteers helped the walkers prepare for their mile hike and to help ease their pain afterward.

HIC Volunteer Coordinator Jana Green said this year’s event gained popularity.

 “We are busier this year than last year,” said Green. “And there is so much more interest and people volunteering.”

According to Green, last year there were about 200 participants, and this year, the number is 350.

“The donations go into our general fund, and a lot of it will go to help run our local women’s shelter,” said Green.

The shoes came in many sizes, styles and heel height. Green said that all the larger sizes are ordered for men and that the smaller sizes are all donations gathered by volunteers.

“This (event) brings the community together,” said Green. “It shows that the men in our community are against rape, sexual assault and violence in general. I’m so proud of our community in supporting this cause.”

Some of the high-heeled walkers were first-timers, including Rev. James Graham of First United Methodist Church.

“I feel better about the walk now that I have a pair of semi-sensible shoes,” said Graham.

Graham credits his participation to several women in his congregation who had asked him.

In his three-inch heels, Graham said, with a smile on his face, he thought everything would hurt after a mile of walking.

“But, no pain, no gain,” said Graham.

Another first-timer was Blake Turner who was walking for The Twig restaurant group. He said he’d be dressed as Twiggy the Bear as well as wearing stilettos. He said he knew he would make it through the mile trek.

For many of the first-timers, the women in their lives influenced their decision to walk in heels.

Teacher Lance Jeanes said that this was his first time to participate. He was asked by the women he works with at Greenwood Elementary.

“The heels are a little wobbly,” Jeanes said, as he tried them out for the first time.

Jeanes said his game plan was to go slow and steady.

There were several heel-clad milers who were participating for the second time, including Dr. Tom McConnell.

“I’ve been involved with Help-In-Crisis for about 15 years,” said McConnell.

The lessons McConnell learned from last year’s experience was that he was not going to wear big heels.

“They are deadly,” he said. “My game plan is not to be first. [I’m going to] just hang in there, finish the walk and show my support.”

Coach Dewayne Hammer of Sequoyah High School, said this was his second time to walk the mile. He brought his team with him this year.

“I hope to make it further than last year,” Hammer said. “And no pole dancing.”

Hammer said that last year he decided to do a little pole dancing in front of Sam and Ella’s, and twisted his ankle.

“I’m here to support the ladies,” Hammer said. “I have three daughters of my own, and I couldn’t bear it if something violent happened to them. People forget that we all have sisters, mothers and daughters. Everyone has a momma, so this is something we can do for the women in our lives.”

Brad Eubanks dealt with his shoes, which were a little too big, in a unique fashion.

“Last year I had a tighter shoe than this year,” Eubanks said while his ankles and feet were being taped. “This year’s pair are a little big so I’m getting ready.”

Eubanks’ game plan was to try not to walk on the bricked sidewalks. “The heels hit the cracks.”

“I’m a pro wrestler,” Eubanks said. “And this is harder than wrestling.”

Some of the volunteers helped prepare the walkers for their high-heeled excursion by taping up ankles to prevent injuries.

NSU Wellness Initiative Director Winona Johnson and her students helped in the care of the men, before and after the trek, for the second year at the event.

“We had some injuries last year,” said Johnson. “I try to encourage the men, especially if it’s their first time, to tape up as a safety measure. Even women wearing high heels injure themselves.”

Johnson said they would be at the blister station after the journey.

By the end of the mile, Chuck Bread said that he’d broken a shoe, but for a good cause. This was Bread’s second year to participate.

“Last year, I went for style,  and this year for comfort,” he said. “Either way, it didn’t help [the pain].”

After the walk, first time high-heel miler Matt Richardson said he was sore. But with little hesitation he added if asked, he do it again next year.

First-time finisher Bilal Chaudhry, with the Xpress Stop group, also learned a little more about what women experience by wearing high heels.

“It was very, very, very painful,” said Chaudhry. “We appreciate what women are doing. We’ll do this again next year.”

Awards were given in several categories. Dr. Steve Ullom received a red shoe trophy as the individual who brought in the most money. The First United Methodist Church won the group award for the most walkers, as well as the most money raised by a group.

Throughout the morning everyone had a good time, painful feet and all. Men showed off and posed in their heels, laughing and waving all the while. Spectators cheered them on in their determination to Walk A Mile In Her Shoes. And Help-In-Crisis received much-needed donations and sincere thanks in the annual event that brought family, friends and community together in their support to stop domestic violence.

Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video