When Rick Azzaro was shopping for some ladies' high heels to wear for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, he was trying to keep it quiet.

But when he heard a shopper say rather loudly, "Oh my God, Marge, that man is trying on women's shoes!" he knew he had to come clean.

He told a store full of onlookers how men walk a mile in high heels as a fundraiser for ACCESS-York and the Victim Assistance Center, the YWCA of York's programs for sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

"So I made a bunch of friends that day," says Azzaro, chief service officer for

ACCESS-York and the Victim Assistance Center.

The fourth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will be Friday in downtown York. Walkers - men in heels - will complete a one-mile course beginning at Sovereign Bank Stadium, around downtown, and back to the stadium. Women are encouraged to register and walk to show support. Ladies can wear any shoes they like. Azzaro said several hundred people are expected to participate.

Check-in for the walk starts at 4 p.m. at the stadium; walk starts at 5. Registration is $40 per person, or you can create a team with a goal of $350.

Walkers can also choose from two post-event activities. The Kick Off Your Heels! party will be held for participants aged 21 and over at Liquid Hero Brewery, 50 E. North St., next to the stadium. Or, watch the York Revolution take on the Long Island Ducks. Both events begin at 6:30 p.m.

For men who don't have their own shoes, high-heel rental is $10. All sizes are available, Azzaro says.

He recommends the go-go boots.

"The white go-go boot is the way to go because it offers more support," Azzaro says, and speaks from experience - he has walked at the event for the past two years.

While Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a lighthearted event, it is in support of a serious issue.

"We need to engage men, or else we're not going to eliminate these things," Azzaro says. "I make sure each of them understands we are speaking out against violence against women."

Organizers hope to raise $36,000 for the ACCESS-York and the Victims Assistance Center, which Azzaro calls first responders for sexual assault and domestic violence.

They provide support, education and a safe environment for victims of domestic violence as well as crisis intervention, counseling and support to victims of sexual violence or other violent crimes. Services are provided at no cost to all victims, both male and female.

"We serve thousands of clients each year," Azzaro said.

For FlipSide

If You Go

What: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser.

Where: Sovereign Bank

Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York.

When: Friday; check in at

4 p.m., walk begins at 5 p.m.

Cost: $40 for individuals, $350 for a team, $10 for high- heel rental

For information: Visit www.ywcayork.org.

First Friday

First Friday continues this month, with the theme being "Moms on Main."

First Friday always runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Several shops, restaurants and other venues in downtown York offer specials and deals during the monthly event.

For details, visit


Follow FlipSide at First Friday. Editor Patrick Abdalla will be taking in all the events and tweeting about them live. Join the discussion with him on Twitter @ydrsouthpaw and on Facebook at facebook.com/flipsidepa.

More fundraisers

La Casa de Tapas, 251 N. George St., York, will donate 10 percent of sales Friday to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight. Walk specials will include a wine and cheese tasting, a buy one tapa get one free from a selected menu and drink specials.

The White Rose Bar & Grill, 48 N. Beaver St., York, will host the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes participants for a sexy leg contest at a First Friday parking lot party featuring B-Tropical, a steel drum and reggae band, and tropical drinks.