Over $20,000 raised for Our VOICE Benefit

A very big THANK YOU! to everyone that donated on behalf of the French Broad Rafting team.

Walk a Mile In Her Shoes

The men of Asheville came out in rare form on a beautiful Saturday morning to City/County Plaza to the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a benefit for Our VOICE. 300 men (and the women who love them) walked through downtown wearing some very colorful and creative women’s shoes and holding signs declaring statements such as “It’s Not Just a Woman’s Issue” and “I am Walking for my Daughter.”

This year participants (both individuals and teams) helped to raise $20,000 for Our VOICE, the Buncombe County Rape Crisis and Prevention Center. These funds will be utilized to support victims of sexual assault and help prevent sexual violence in our community.

Just to give an idea of how the $20,000 can be utilized:

  • $20,000 = 400 hours of counseling (we offer 16 free sessions at 1 hour each – this equals full sessions for 25 victims of sexual assault)
  • $20,000 = 200 hospital packs (victims of rape and sexual assault who are seen at the hospital are required to relinquish clothing as evidence; Our VOICE provides these individuals with toiletries and a change of clothing)
  • $20,000 = training for 100 volunteers (volunteer victim advocates attend a 30 hour comprehensive training to answer the 24/7 crisis line and accompany victims in the hospital)

We would also like to highlight several local teams that went above and beyond to promote the event, raise funds for Our VOICE, and bring attention to the issue of sexual assault:

  • Marco’s Pizzeria (most $ raised by a team)
  • Buncombe County Rescue Squad
  • French Broad Rafting Expeditions
  • Feral Chihuahuas
  • Ira B. Jones Elementary School
  • Organic Mechanic
  • Shaolin Kung Fu of Asheville
  • The Hop (first place walking team)
  • Veterans for Peace
  • West End Bakery
  • Earth Fare West Asheville
  • Image 420
  • Emdeon

In addition to co-chairs APD Chief Bill Hogan and WLOS Jason Boyer, the Runaway Circus, Sherriff Van Duncan and many others took to the street. The top fundraiser was Bruce Kennedy of Asheville and the “Most Pumped” (the walker with the most spirit) was freelance writer Jonathan Rich (AKA White Lightning). The individual to cross the finish line first (at an amazing sprint in heels) was Billy Beard. Our VOICE is honored to have the participation of such a diverse group of Buncombe County men (and the women who support them) as part of the International Men’s March Against Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence.

Also – a huge THANK YOU to Hip Replacements for providing the men of Asheville with so many amazing shoes!