When Logan Fieguth first walked a mile in his mother’s size eight, shiny pink high-heeled shoes — they even had a pretty little bow on them — he was just 10 years old.
But he understood well the reason behind the annual Walk a Mile in HER Shoes fundraiser for Gillian’s Place, the St. Catharines centre for women and children seeking shelter from abusive homes, and help so that they would not have to return to them.
The event is a men’s march to end violence against women, an annual event held at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines.
The fact that he was there, by choice walking with a bunch of men, was kind of coincidental, he says.
His mother Emily had done some volunteering at Gillian’s Place, and she was helping out a friend who was part of the organizing team of the event. His father and older brother weren’t home, and he couldn’t stay home alone, so he went off to the Pen Centre with his mother the day of the walk.
He is now 16, and about to participate in the event for the seventh time, but he still remembers learning about Gillian’s Place from the speeches before the walk started seven years ago, and the woman who spoke about having gone to Gillian’s Place for a safe shelter.
At 10 years old, he learned that not all children have a safe haven at home, and that people who are supposed to love their children might treat them badly.
It made him think about his own family, and he says he couldn’t imagine the people he loves and who love him treating each other so badly they might have to leave.
In the ensuing years, he has continued to participate in the event, and has learned far more about the services offered at Gillian’s Place.
Now in Grade 11 at Laura Secord Secondary School, he has been given the added opportunity to share what he has learned with others, and to help those who need it.
In an effort to spread understanding among young people, Gillian’s Place asked him to be a youth ambassador. In that role, he attends events and speaks about the shelter, explaining there is help available if needed, and where to find it.
He hopes his involvement will encourage anyone who hears his message to reach out for help if they are being abused, he says.
As an ambassador, he is also expected to host a fundraiser, and has decided to hold a bottle collection.
He has waited until the local Air Cadets finished their annual collection, and is now asking for empty beer, wine and liquor bottles from businesses and residents. There are bins outside his 1881 Concession 4 home, where bottles can be dropped off until Oct. 5. That day, he will be at Phil’s valu-mart in Virgil, behind the store, to collect bottles, and donating the proceeds to Gillian’s Place as part of the Walk a Mile fundraiser.
Next Monday, Fieguth will be interviewed at 7:10 a.m. on The Tim Denis NewsTalk show on 610 CKTB. He’s looking forward to talking about the fundraiser, and his role as youth ambassador, he says.
When Fieguth dons his now size 12, shiny pink stilettos on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Pen Centre, he does so, he says, because “it’s the right thing to do.”
He will be joining a host of men on the walk, and encourages other young men to take part and stand up against violence against women.
Donations to Logan’s Well Heeled Walkers can also be made online at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/gillians-place/p2p/walkamile2019/team/logans-well-heeled-walkers/captain/logan-fieguth/.