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FHSU fraternities help with the healing

By CHAD PILSTER

cpilster@dailynews.net

If you were searching for a pair of 4-inch heels in a size to fit men at Payless Shoesource this week, you weren't alone.

According to Curt Brungardt, guest speaker at this year's Walk-A-Mile in Her shoes event, he walked into Payless and said, "I have a strange request."

"Their response was, 'Don't worry. We have been full of guys all day.' "

The fifth annual Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes sponsored by the men of Fort Hays State University fraternities was used to raise money for awareness of victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Brungardt is no stranger to sexual violence. On July 3, 2008, his stepdaughter was found dead in her ex-boyfriend's home. Jana Mackey, a graduate of Hays High School and a University of Kansas law student, was an advocate for women's rights who volunteered to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Brungardt and his wife have started a campaign at www.janascampaign.org to reduce domestic and dating violence.

After a brief video, paying tribute to his stepdaughter, Brungardt talked to a standing-room-only crowd. He pushed it upon the young men to listen what is going on around them and try to stand up against other guys who might be abusing their partners.

After a herd of guys climbed a flight of stairs in Memorial Union, the click-clack of heels weaved its way from the union to Jellison Bridge, around campus and back to the union.

This year, the event raised $2,000 and had approximately 200 people participate. It was $200 more than last year's event.

Proceeds went to Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

"We advocate for individuals who are experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault," said Dennis Becking, of Options. "We help with peer counseling, the court system and working through their difficult situation."

Not everyone could find shoes that fit, though.

Kyle Walker decided to try his luck at Goodwill but found the largest women's shoes they had were a size 9.

"I'm an 11 in men's," he said.

He used a little bit of duct tape to fix that problem though -- total cost was $2.