Moffat County men head over heels in support of Open Heart Advocates
CRAIG — Men, women, and children put a fun spin on a serious issue during the second annual Moffat County Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, hosted by Open Heart Advocates on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Boys & Girls Club of Craig.
“As you read this short sentence, a woman has become the victim of assault,” according to the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, “as every nine seconds, another woman is beaten in America.”
Open Heart Advocates, formerly Advocates-Crisis Support Services of Craig, was founded in 1978 and has for 40 years served the Craig/Moffat County area as the sole provider of free, confidential victims’ advocacy and victims’ services.
The group helps men, women, and children of all ages who have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault, and during the October — Domestic Violence Awareness Month — it works to raise awareness and funding through events.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international men’s initiative to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. It recognizes that sexualized violence is not only a women’s issue and helps communities come together in a fun way to talk about difficult issues.
Teen Tyler Nelms grabbed a pair of high heels to have some fun while supporting a good cause.
Before the race, he felt his chances of winning were good thanks to his “strong calf muscles” and “good balances.”
“I think I’ve got it under control,” he said.
To practice his technique, Nelms ran from one room to another at the Boys & Girls Club.
“It hurts pretty good, but I’m still standing,” he said.
Nelms was one of two young men in the race.
“It’s outstanding that we have a teenager here, as teaching youth about Domestic Violence is critical,” said Open Heart Advocates Director Beka Warren.
Despite keeping his balance, Nelms wasn’t fast enough to win the race against five other men, also in high heels, who navigated an obstacle course designed to test their agility.
When it was over, Nelms placed third, after Adam Delay, another teen, and Memorial Regional Health CEO Andy Daniels.
Sporting strappy patent leather stiletto heels, in sized “Mammoth Petite,” Daniels said that “nimbleness” was the key to winning the race. He was crowned with a sparkly tiara and, along with the other winners, was awarded gift certificates from area businesses.
After the race, attendees had the opportunity to purchase a purse. Inside three of the bags, cash prizes including a $100 bill, were hidden. Door prizes were given out, and Perfectly Posh Consultant Heather White offered her products and information about The DiVA Project — a program that will allow customers to donate to victims of domestic violence pampering bags filled with posh products.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities continued Monday, as staff and volunteers of Open Heart Advocates set purple pinwheels on the lawn of the Moffat County Courthouse to honor those in the community who have been impacted by domestic violence.
On Wednesday, advocates will be at the Public Safety Center to say “thank you” to law enforcement. They will hold a luncheon with the staff of the courts later in the year.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
One doesn’t necessarily need to know Beka Warren personally to recognize her name as one of Northwest Colorado’s biggest champions of health equality for underserved populations and a tireless advocate for ensuring local resources exist for victims of crime and trauma.