Walk A Mile participants win award, $200 prize

Pen volunteers pose in their dresses and wigs.

Each October for the past three years, Washington State Penitentiary employees have slipped into their dresses, applied their make-up and strutted the streets in the name of domestic violence awareness.

Better known as the “dudettes,” Juan, Mark, Shane, Josh, Steve, David, Michael, Dale and Bob participated in the YWCA’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, a national march to raise awareness of men’s important role in ending domestic violence. The Washington State Penitentiary Department of Corrections helps sponsor the event.

For their work, the “dudettes” were recently awarded fourth quarter Employee Recognition by the Washington State Penitentiary Employee Association.

“We wanted to recognize you guys for taking the time out of your day, on your own time for the most part, to participate and dress as a woman—not to defame women or the cause, but to bring attention to first, their attire, and then the topic it’s about—domestic violence,” said Mary Moss, secretary of the Washington State Penitentiary Employee Association.

The award is accompanied by a $200 cash prize. And in a further act of generosity, the “dudettes” opted to donate their winnings to the YWCA of Walla Walla.

“This wonderful donation is truly going the extra mile,” said Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, Executive Director of the YWCA. “Not only do these wonderful guys help us raise awareness about violence against women; they plan, shop for, and WEAR one-of-a-kind outfits during Walk a Mile in her Shoes. We truly thank them for their generosity and good humor.”