The seventh-annual walk took place Saturday, April 21, at Veterans Park.
As Flagler Beach Police Lt. Lance Blanchette took his first steps in red high heels, he leaned on Family Life Center board member Jim Troiano for support. After walking one mile around Flagler Beach in the stilettos, Blanchette was relived to step back into his police shoes.
"I don't understand how woman do that — seriously," Blanchette said at the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, hosted by Family Life Center, a Flagler County not-for-profit working to spread awareness about domestic violence and rape.
"I'm thinking about starting a new program where, instead of sending men to jail, we make them wear heels for a week," he added with a laugh.
The seventh-annual event was held at Veterans Park in Flagler Beach on Saturday, April 21. With the registration cost of $50, FLC provided T-shirts and a supply of stilettos in larger sizes to accommodate men's feet.
"This event is geared mainly in engaging men in the conversation about rape and domestic violence," Family Life Center CEO Trish Giaccone said.
Among the participants in heels were Troiano, Flagler Schools Executive Director of Leadership Development Earl Johnson, Joe Mullins of The Mullins Companies, Temple Beth Shalom Rabbi Zev Sonnenstein and Flagler County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Mike Lutz and Cmdr. David Williams. Participants who walked without heels included Flagler County Commissioners Nate McLaughlin, Charles Erickson and Donald O'Brien.
"It's not getting any easier," Johnson said about his third year participating. "This year, it's harder for some reason."
Rabbi Sonnenstein strutted into first place to win the first finisher award, and the Belle Terre Tai Chi Group won the largest participating group award.
Giaccone said the estimated net earnings as of April 24 is $4,088. Profits will benefit the Family Life Center to provide essential support services to individuals and families to end domestic and sexual violence in Flagler County.
"We don't know what it's like being a woman, as a man, and the issues they walk in every day — even walking down the street — and the fears they may have that I as a man do not have," said Troiano. "And so, this is an opportunity to understand that and allow that to be more a part of me as I can help in our community."