Written By: Stephanie Heisler 17′

The Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter hosted their second annual Walk a Mile event this fall. The event took place on Sunday October 2. This event raised money and awareness towards ending sexual and domestic violence. Community members registered to walk the route, with the option of wearing a pair of red heels. Participants could bring their own set of shoes or borrow a clean pair at the event. Attending this event was eye opening; people of all sizes, shapes, and sexes came out and walked. Sponsors and community partners brought munchkins, bagels, orange juice and apple cider to kick off the cold morning and ending the course with warm chili. Everyone who attended seemed to have a great time.thumbnail_img_0113

There were three of us members of the Community Service house who showed up to assist with registration, cheering, clean up and set up of the event. We were able to interact with a large amount of diverse groups who came out to support the event for a variety of reasons. The event ended up having about 300 participants and raised over $30,000. This event is the biggest fundraiser that the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter hosts during the year. Overall, the day was a huge success in my opinion. I was able to walk in the race and represent the Castleton University Cheer Team who were decked out in full uniforms of green, white and silver. Being able to represent my university through my involvement in different groups was a wonderful feeling.

It was important to those of us who volunteered for the event to show that on our own university campus we do not stand for these actions against anyone. Anyone can be affected by sexual or domestic violence, there are no barriers of age, gender, economic background, race, religion, major or any other differences between people here on campus. At Castleton University, we are fortunate to have a multitude of resources available to those who have been affected by sexual and or domestic violence. Being at the event and seeing the massive amount of support from the community around this issue was very inspiring.

It was great to be involved with this event and the wonderful people and groups who showed their support. Our community adviser in North House, Emma Blaiklock, is on the Board for the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter and was the one who encouraged us to get involved. If anyone else is looking to get involved with this wonderful organization and help to support those who have been affected and to make a stand against sexual and domestic violence in our community, get in touch with Emma.

My hope is that in future years they host the event at a time when Castleton University is not on break, so we can see more of our campus community connecting with our local communities on this important issue. I am incredibly glad I was able to be involved with this amazing event and can’t wait to see how the event continues to grow over the years!