Fundraiser for Domestic Abuse Services Oxford's counselling services takes place June 1

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A revamped fundraiser that will ensure counselling for women who been sexually or physically abused returns to Woodstock this week.

The newly named Men in Heels event takes place at Museum Square on Thursday, June 1 at 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.

Rhonda Hendel, executive director of Domestic Abuse Services of Oxford (DASO), said it has been a few years since their last Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, which saw men walk while wearing heels in support of domestic abuse programs and to raise awareness of domestic abuse issues.

“We made some changes and brought it back as Men in Heels,” Hendel said.

Hendel said she was approached by volunteers Leslie Farrell and Diane Langner, who wanted to help raise money for the organization.

“They wanted to lend a hand and help out,” she said. “We figured we would reinvent this event and that’s what we are doing.”

Hendel said they are expecting 100 plus men and other walkers for the event at Museum Square on Thursday, June 1.

The two walks take place at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.

“We’re targeting men but anyone can walk,” Hendel said.

The event occurs during Woodstock’s downtown market and will also include food trucks stationed in the RBC parking lot.

“It’s market day and there will be lots going on,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, something different and easy to do.”

Participants can register online at daso.ca or just show up with a minimum donation or pledges amounting to $20.

Heels will be available for those who wish to wear them, but are participants are not required to.

Hendel said DASO is required to raise $100,000 a year to keep its doors open and offer counselling programs and services.

The women’s shelter has had no new funding increases in 17 years, and costs have risen 50 per cent.

“This is an important program,” Hendel said. “It’s important woman can access services when they been assaulted and get the help they need.”

The event is sponsored by Vuteq, Tim Hortons, RBC and Woodstock Print and Litho.

HRivers@postmedia.com

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