Walk a Mile a feel good moment for Holy Cross students

students in parade

May 9, 2019

By David Bui, Special to the Peterborough Examiner

Original story

More than 400 students and staff walked with high spirits around the school’s track as part of a charity fundraiser.

Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School participated Wednesday, May 8 in the 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. Participants walked four laps in high heels or their own shoes during the march.

The school aims to raise $2,500 every year to help fund the Safe Nights program at the YWCA’s Crossroads Shelter for women fleeing abuse. They’ve reached that same goal in the last three years and want to make it an overal total of $10,000.

The school has taken public pledges, hosted barbecues and sold casual dress day tickets to students to aid in the fundraising.

“It’s really important we do this every year, just to raise awareness,” said Jack Johnson, a Grade 10 student. “It makes us all feel good when we know we can help raise money toward a good cause.”

Students got into the spirit of the event with smiles and passion for the charity.

“It’s really nice to come together as a big school to donate money and support our women,” said Kathleen Smith, a Grade 11 student.

Holy Cross started the fundraiser four years ago and remains as the only school in Peterborough to host the event annually.

“We were approached by the Y (YWCA) to ask if we wanted to do an event at our school,” special education teacher Jennifer Chadwick said. “They got a hold of us and asked if we wanted to have the event.”

It was beneficial for Holy Cross to hold their own fundraiser sponsored by GM Financial, rather than attend the city-wide annual event later this month.

“We don’t spend on transportation and things like that. This way we can hold it right here and the whole community can participate,” Chadwick said.

The YWCA appreciates the generosity and enthusiasm of the school.

“The support has been overwhelming and we’re so thankful that Holy Cross has participated for their fourth year,” said Ria Nicholson, YWCA associate fundraising events. “When we approached them, they were really excited and thought this would be really great to get all the students together and get them on board.”

The shelter is for local women and children fleeing from abuse to have safe nights of sleep with several amenities provided for them. It costs $64.65 a night to house a person.

“A safe night is everything a woman and child will possibly need,” Nicholson said. “That provides a 24-hour on-site support system at the shelter as well as a warm safe room, nutritious food, personal care items and everything they possibly need when leaving an abusive situation.”

The 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event presented by Merrett Home Hardware Centre will take place on May 24 at Confederation Square. The walk will go down George Street, loop around King Street, Water Street and back to the square.

The YWCA’s goal leading up to the event is $95,000 and have reached around $59,000 so far.