KEENE, N.H. 4/23/12 – Keene State College athletes can do a lot of things, including kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, and hit a baseball. On Saturday the Owls demonstrated they can also Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes.
Several Keene State teams and coaches took part in the Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser that began and ended on the KSC campus. Now in its sixth year, the event is collaboration between the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention and Keene State College to raise awareness and stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.
Enthusiastic Keene State athletes couldn't wait to hit the road. "It's a great team event where we could all come together for a good cause," said Carly Kiernan, a sophomore on the KSC women's basketball team. "It hits home for a lot of people."
Members of Keene State's student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC), junior Meryl Regaini and freshman Bridget Goodwin also put their best foot forward. "We thought it would be a good opportunity to do something for the Keene and Keene State community," said Regaini.
Keene State Coaches Kevin Justice of the KSC men's basketball team and Megan Lane from the Owl women's team feel that it is important for the athletes to serve as role models and get involved in events that help the campus and Keene Community. "It provides the athletes and opportunity to work with the general student body for a good cause," said Justice, who serves an event chairperson.
"I know our women's team was excited to help out," said Lane. "It's really great when people show this emotion and energy toward something. It makes other people want to get involved."
According to Forrest Seymour, a counselor and coordinator of sexual violence prevention and education at Keene State, the march began as an educational activism event and converted into a fund-raiser. "The Keene State athletes do a great job," he said. "They always try to help out when they can."
Prior to the walk, Justice, along with KSC men's basketball players' juniors Eric Fazio and Geoff Woodberry presented a check for $630 to Robin Christopherson, the Executive Director of the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention. The money was raised at raffles during KSC athletic events. For the second year in a row the event raised over $20,000.
Finding the proper footwear for the walk proved to be a challenge for Fazio, who couldn't find a pair of size 13 shoes to wear.
A freshman on the KSC women's volleyball team, Sammy Dormio was a little bit daring – deciding to walk the mile in flip-flops. "They have some cushion, so hopefully I'll be OK, she said.
A three-year veteran of the walk, Justice went on line to get his shoes - a pair of striking red heels. "The size said 13 M, so I thought I was ordering men's size 13. Instead the "m" stood for medium – two sizes too small."
"A couple of nice ladies suggested that I slit the back, but I hope they expanded a little," he added. "I might role my ankle a few times, but I'll make the mile."