Grand Junction’s Latimer House seeks funding to replace stolen high heels – (yes, you read that correctly!)
Grand Junction’s annual Men in Heels Race doesn’t just support the Latimer House financially.
“Humor is a great way to open the doors to communication,” said Program Coordinator Karla Kitzman. “It makes the Latimer House more recognizable, and it gets folks thinking differently.”
Hilltop’s Latimer House, a Grand Junction-based nonprofit, provides much-needed emergency support for victims of domestic violence. And when reputable men throughout the Grand Valley don high heels and race around Grand Junction’s Main Street, folks definitely take notice.
Heading into its fourth year, the Men in Heels Race (set for Sept. 19) is now at risk of extinction. In a bizarre break-in to a Latimer House storage area April 16, 100 pairs of high heels in men’s sizes were stolen (along with Christmas gifts and decorations).
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“I have no idea why they were stolen,” Kitzman said, though she noted large-sized heels could be sold to a specialty market, like a transgendered community, for instance. “They are meant for men’s feet.”
And staffers at Latimer don’t think this odd heist was a mistake.
“Everything was neatly categorized in nice plastic tubs, labeled clearly,” Kitzman added.
Latimer House’s fundraising coordinator Jennifer Allen said the shoes are worth roughly $5,000, and it’s going to be extremely difficult to replace them. Plus, the value stolen wasn’t enough to be covered by the nonprofit’s insurance.
“There’s not a lot of time to get new shoes, and it’s going to be an out-of-pocket expense,” Kitzman said.
On top of the financial strain of needing to purchase new shoes, losing the Men in Heels Race would also be financially damaging to the organization.
“It raises $10,000-$12,000 yearly, and it goes to direct services, like keeping the doors and the shelter open,” Kitzman noted. “It goes to pay for whatever is needed — toilet paper, beds and services.”
WANT TO HELP?
Shoes needed range in size from 11-16, and most of those are considered specialty sizes not available in local stores. Allen estimates at least 30 pairs of heels are needed to make the event happen in September.
“The most common sizes needed are 13, 14 and 15,” Kitzman said. “For those, we could use financial donations” as they’ll need to be ordered. High heels, in sizes 11 and up, will also be accepted at the Latimer House. A 3-inch heel or taller is desired. Flat-soled shoe are not needed.
Financial contributions, cash or check, will also be happily accepted at the front desk of the Latimer House. Kitzman only asks that folks specify donations for the Men in Heels Race.
The Latimer House is located at 1003 Main St. in Grand Junction, and the phone number is 970-241-0324. For more information about its services, visit http://www.htop.org/adult/lh.
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