10/06/2014 07:28 EDT | Updated 10/06/2014 07:59 EDT

Collingwood 'Walk A Mile In Her Shoes' Event Raises $32,000 For Local Women's Shelter


The ruby red slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" may remind us that there's no place like home, but they're also an integral fundraising tool for an Ontario women's shelter.

Over 100 men rocked a pair of scarlet high heels to bring light to domestic abuse and violence against women for Collingwood, ON's "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" walk-a-thon. All proceeds from Saturday's event benefit the 600-plus women who use the services of "My Friend's House," a Georgian Bay-area women's shelter, the only of its kind in the region.

"Too often domestic violence is talked about as a women's issue, and it really is a community issue," said Alison Fitzgerald, a "My Friend's House" representative, to CTV News Barrie. "It affects men and women equally."

This year, the walk-a-thon raised nearly $32,000 for the shelter, and to help women and families find the resources to jump start their new lives. Now in its third year, the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" fundraiser has grown from having 37 male participants back in 2012.

But Fitzgerald is quick to dismiss any claims that suggest "My Friend's House" is a man-hating organization, and the participants are on her side.

"It really is a fun fundraiser," said Matt McLean, a radio announcer, to "Everybody loves it and it's so engaging towards men."

Other incarnations of the event have also taken place in Toronto, and Calgary, for local shelters.

This cause also has a national reach, as the CBC reports nearly 3,300 women will use one of Canada's 600 shelter facilities for at least one night to seek safety from an abusive environment.


Photo gallery Walk A Mile Toronto's Walk To End Violence Against Women See Gallery