Like delicate newborn fawns, a herd of men wobbled through the streets of Hanover on Friday with quaking legs and weak ankles stuffed into high-heeled shoes.
This was the third year that dozens of plucky males donned go-go boots, kitten heels and pumps to take a stand against domestic violence in the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march.
The event benefits the Hanover YWCA's Safe Home Program and the York YWCA's Still Waters Shelter, said Anne Acker, director of Domestic Violence Programs at the Hanover YWCA.
More than 100 men slipped into heels at the Warehime-Myers Mansion and teetered through downtown Hanover with the goal of raising $30,000. Last year the YWCA raised $22,000, Acker said.
The final tally for funds raised will continue to be calculated through the week, but event organizer Michele Witman said their goal had already been met. She said they expect to continue receiving donations throughout the week.
For Acker, the event was as much about supporting a good cause as it was about raising awareness for problems surrounding domestic violence.
"One in every four women have been abused or will be abused in their lifetime, so it's really about the community coming together to support the victims of this terrible crime," she said. "When people in abusive relationships see this, they know it's not just the police or court system, it's the entire community that cares what happens to them."
For the sake of the men, Acker measured the route through town prior to the event so that the distance was as close to a complete mile as possible.
Still, some guys took off their shoes a quarter of the way through the walk in while others stopped for a break on an obliging stoop.
Chief Dwayne Smith of the Hanover Police Department didn't wear heels himself, but got numerous complements on his sequin-bedazzled sneakers.
Still, it was the large turnout for the event that encouraged him the most, he said.
"For them to have the courage to be out here means a lot, because victims don't always have courage to face an abuser," Smith said. "I couldn't be happier to be out here."
Following the parade, the men rested their barking dogs back at the Warehime-Myers mansion for some beer and music.
What they wore and why
Adam Grove, of Hanover, chose his denim wedges specifically to match his denim shirt and pants.
"This was like the perfect shoe," Grove said. "It has a little heal so it's still a challenge, too."
Michael Chandler, of York, wore black suede knee boots for practical purposes.
"The other ones I tried on kept sinking into the ground," Chandler said. "Plus, I'm getting a lot of complements."
Mike Kelly, of Hanover, picked a pair of strappy sling-back wedges for his walk around town.
"Style has nothing to do with it," Kelly said. "Women are too overcome with beauty and style while we're all about the comfort and fit."