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How It Feels In Her Heels
by Garrett Valenzuela
Apr 28, 2012 | 3491 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Joshua Ripple of Reno slipped into a pair of bright red high heels Saturday morning at the track at Mackay Stadium on the University of Nevada, Reno campus to take part  in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser to raise awareness of sexual abuse. Joshua was one of more than 150 who participated in the mile walk.
Tribune/John Byrne - Joshua Ripple of Reno slipped into a pair of bright red high heels Saturday morning at the track at Mackay Stadium on the University of Nevada, Reno campus to take part in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser to raise awareness of sexual abuse. Joshua was one of more than 150 who participated in the mile walk.
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Tribune/John Byrne - Sparks High School’s varsity volleyball coach Tarina Elliott (left) and one of her former players Krysti Collier showed their support for the cause by participating in the mile-long walk in heels around the track at Mackay Stadium on Saturday.
Tribune/John Byrne - Sparks High School’s varsity volleyball coach Tarina Elliott (left) and one of her former players Krysti Collier showed their support for the cause by participating in the mile-long walk in heels around the track at Mackay Stadium on Saturday.
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Tribune/John Byrne - Joshua Ripple shows off his running in high heels during Saturday's walk at UNR.
Tribune/John Byrne - Joshua Ripple shows off his running in high heels during Saturday's walk at UNR.
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Tribune/ John Byrne - The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser held Saturday  at the University of Nevada's Mackay Stadium drew more than 150 participants. Most of the participants were men wearing high heels. The event, sponsored by the on-campus Sexual Assault Support Services program, was held to help raise awareness of sexual assault.
Tribune/ John Byrne - The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser held Saturday at the University of Nevada's Mackay Stadium drew more than 150 participants. Most of the participants were men wearing high heels. The event, sponsored by the on-campus Sexual Assault Support Services program, was held to help raise awareness of sexual assault.
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RENO — More than 300 high-heeled shoes graced the sidelines of Mackay Stadium Saturday morning — many of them worn by men — trekking a mile to raise awareness about sexual assault.

The Center for Cultural Diversity at the University of Nevada, Reno hosted the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraising event to help benefit the Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) program, which is part of the Crisis Call Center for the university. The Center, as it is known around campus, partnered with the Crisis Call Center, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity for the event, which drew more than 150 people, clad in heeled shoes, to walk a mile on the track around the football stadium.

“Sexual assault does happen in our community,” said Kasey La Foon, program assistant for SASS. “One in 5 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.” La Foon said the focus of her program has a “victims first” mentality and provides the message that men can stand by women as allies allowing them to become more aware that sexual assault can happen to them. She said the event literally let people “lean on each other” for positive reinforcement.

“How often do you get to wear high heels and run around a track to a DJ? It’s a great way to have fun,” La Foon said.

An opening statement by Reno firefighter Mike Sprinkle of Sparks stressed the importance of awareness on the part of men.

“Men need to recognize that (sexual assault) really happens and that it is not just something you read about in the papers,” he said. “We have a real responsibility to protect all the loved ones in our lives. Often times we focus on women but it could be any of us.”

Sprinkle was one of several men who walked a mile in heels and said it was not as easy as it looks.

“It was difficult, but that is absolutely the point and I think it really drove home the message,” he said, adding, “It makes every guy out there realize that when we put women up on pedestals and want them to dress like that there is a price that goes with it.”

Sparks High School volleyball coach Tarina Elliott was on hand to walk a mile for members of her family who have been affected by sexual violence. She said it was a great way to support the community by showing awareness of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her journey around the track was not as tough as Anthony Dionisi’s, however, who was one of the final participants to finish walking.

“I definitely feel like I am the slowest,” Dionisi said. The 22-year-old information systems major laughed with a half smile and said, “You definitely feel the pain. Women might joke about it but it is very real.”
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