homepage logo

Walk a Mile to help stop domestic violence

By Staff | Sep 11, 2014

KAANAPALI – Step out with your local firemen at the third annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes (WAM) event at Whalers Village on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Organized by the volunteers of the West Maui Domestic Violence Task Force and the Women Helping Women (WHW) nonprofit, the event is a men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.

In an e-mail to Fire Chief Jeff Murray, Rylan Yatsushiro (Maui County Fire Fighter III) announced, “So far, each of the last three recruit classes have a rep who stepped up to coordinate a team,” including Cory Palmeira, Tyler Pascual, Kawika Casco and Jake Souki.

“It seems we will be well represented,” Yatsushiro continued, with the “E2 B-Watch guys” teaming up as well.

The goal of the campaign is for men to help raise awareness in our community about the seriousness of domestic violence.

“It is not okay to hit women and children,” West Side Task Force member Danielle Bergan stated matter-of-fact.

“We are looking for the community to join us in our struggle to eliminate domestic and sexual violence, an epidemic that overwhelmingly victimizes women,” volunteer Maria Terra added.

“There is an old saying: ‘You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes.’

“Here’s your chance,” Terra challenged.

By the way, the walk is not a mile; it’s a lap around center stage at Whalers Village, with entertainment and prizes.

The master of ceremonies is Joe Hawkins of KONI Radio.

Ray Chin braved the dare in 2012 and 2013. He’ll be participating in 2014, “but I am hoping my playing of drums will be an adequate substitution for wearing those high heels,” he told the Lahaina News tongue-in-cheek.”

Fred’s Garage Maui will be the “backing band and is donating its playing time,” Chin said.

Fred’s Garage is a West Maui-based band. Members, including Chin, are Mark Jackson and Jason Jerome.

“Each member of Fred’s Garage is a husband and father of daughters and sons. While Fred’s Garage is a band for hire, the band also seeks opportunities to give back to its community. Maui Prep’s Paniolo Night, Sacred Hearts’ Bazaar and Realtors Got Talent are examples of the band donating their time and efforts to worthwhile causes.

“The efforts and awareness raised by the WHW-WAM event is very much aligned with Fred’s Garage goal of supporting the community. As fathers, we recognize that we have a responsibility to provide and care for our families in every positive manner possible. This is the norm, not the exception.

“If the efforts of Fred’s Garage in the upcoming WHW-WAM can help other families deal with domestic violence or educate a generation of young people on proper family values, than not only are (we) compelled to give back, we encourage every person to participate by offering their talents to the WHW.”

WAM is sponsored by Whalers Village, University of Hawaii-Maui College, AAAAA Rent A Space, KONI 104.7 FM and Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

Members of the West Maui Domestic Violence Task Force are, including Terra and Bergan, Lynn Gottwald, Claudia Micco, Jacqueline Favors, Monique Yamashita, P. Denise La Costa, Stacey Moniz, Ruth McKay, Renee Ward, Carol Brown, Aimee Paradise, Liz May and Sen. Roz Baker.

Moniz is also the executive director of Women Helping Women on Maui.

“The West Maui Domestic Violence Task Force is a powerful group of people who meet monthly to organize events to raise funds and awareness about domestic violence and Women Helping Women. They do an incredible job and have organized this event for three years. They are always looking for new ways to help, and our office in Lahaina would not exist if it weren’t for the dedication of this group of West Maui people,” Moniz advised.

As far as Walk a Mile, Moniz made a special announcement: “This event raises funds to support all of our programs, including the West Maui office. We are in the process of seeking a location for a second shelter for Maui island and would like for it to be on the West Side, so victims from Lanai and Molokai could also access this shelter if need be.”

Senator Baker has been “a supporter of WHW for a very long time – probably at least 20 years.” She recalled last year’s fundraiser: “The guys were such good sports, and we got the participants to pledge to help us end violence against women. It was terrific to see police, fire, Angus (Rep. Angus McKelvey) was there, realtors, friends walking around the track. I know many of them will be back again this year.”

Registration commences at 9:30 a.m.

The entry fee is $10. Participants receive a free T-shirt and raffle ticket.

Supporters can buy raffle tickets for $10 each as well.

“We’ll have some fabulous prizes. We’ve got lots of donations already,” Bergan confided, including vacation nights at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort and The Mauian.

This year a costume contest will be the highlight of the awards, Terra said.

If anyone wants to pre-register,” Terra added, “call 5A (669-5200). We can answer any questions that they may have; there are three of us here.”

“Until there is no more domestic violence, and women and their children don’t suffer physical and verbal abuse at the hands of their partners or spouses, there will always be a need for Women Helping Women. Their shelter is a life-saver; their 24/7 crisis hotline is a life-line; and to have services for TRO and assistance on the West Side is so important for women in our community. WHW helps educate young people and others about respect, no bullying and how to stay safe. The work WHW and others do with young people is important to break the cycle of violence,” Sen. Baker said.

“Walk A Mile is about raising awareness, hope and funds,” the lawmaker concluded.