The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 19, 2014

Hunks in Heels: Area men are stepping up against domestic violence

The higher the donation totals, the higher the heels.

That’s the fundraising game plan for Mick Bates, one of 30 participants in Hunks in Heels, which will benefit both the Women’s Resource Center and Newspapers in Education.

These hunks will be “stepping up” against domestic violence, all while competing for 10 special titles, including Hottest Hunk, Fan Favorite and Best Dressed.

Bates, owner of Bodyworks, said his fundraising plan is simple — if people donate a small amount of money, he will wear “plain, vanilla” shoes. But if people want to see him in some lavish, 6-inch stilettos, he says, “Show me the money!”

This event is the first of its kind in the Beckley area and Bates said he’s excited to be a part of it.

“There’s a good bunch of men that have stepped forward for this to raise not only money, but awareness. Any man that hurts a woman isn’t really a man. I have young kids and I want them to understand that. There needs to be zero tolerance for domestic violence.”

Hunks in Heels will be hosted March 14 at the Beckley Moose Lodge. A meet and greet starts at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Lola Rizer and Chaz Tuner will emcee the event, and award-winning writer and child advocate Roger Lockridge will be a special guest speaker.

Tickets are $25 and are selling rapidly, so don’t miss your chance to see 30 hunks strut their stuff on the runway. Tickets include heavy appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages.

Women’s Resource Center Public Relations and Fundraising Development Coordinator Dee Sizemore said with any fundraiser, the organization wants to be as profitable as possible, but it’s even better when awareness can be incorporated.

“These men are taking a stand to show they are against gender-based violence,” Sizemore said.

She said everyone has been overwhelmed from the positive responses from the contestants, as well as their significant others and community members.

“We’ve been in contact with some of the wives, girlfriends and co-workers of the contestants, and I think they’re just as excited as the guys.”

Sizemore said these women may already personally know that the man in their life is against domestic violence, but it’s great for him to make his stand on the issue public.

Beckley Area Derby Dames Head Referee Rodney “HottRod” Elkins will trade in his roller skates for a pair of heels March 14, and his wife and fellow skater, Kelly “Burn N Kell” Elkins, said she is very excited about the event.

“I’m proud that my husband is stepping out of his comfort zone to support such a great cause,” Kelly said. “Wearing heels or a dress was no problem for him, it’s the dancing part he’s concerned with.”

Kelly’s been sending him plenty of video clips to practice his moves for the freestyle dance competition, and she said the two will be practicing this week.

“I’ve always told him heels are so uncomfortable and I’ve always hated wearing them. It’ll be a nice change for him to be getting the catcalls and whistles.”

Beckley WVVA contestant Robbie Pauley said his significant other, Shelli Shaver, is also helping him get prepared.

“She’s like my agent. She’s giving me plenty of style tips,” Pauley laughed.

He is encouraging everyone to visit his voting boxes at Marquee Cinemas, The Nail Boutique beside Panera Bread and Glow Tanning Salon in Oak Hill.

“I’m overwhelmed, but it’s great giving back to such a good cause.”

Like Pauley, Wells Fargo Advisor Chuck Cox said it was hard to turn down a fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center.

“When I first heard Hunks in Heels, I was thinking HILLS, like the hills of West Virginia,” Cox said. “I thought it would be an adventure walk or something.”

But he said when he was corrected about the details of the event, his first thought was, “I don’t have anything to wear!”

Luckily, a couple business sponsors from the Beckley area are planning to deck him out for the big night.

“I was told that they ordered my shoes yesterday. I’m hoping for a classic black slimming dress and shoes, but we’ll see...”

Each vote for your favorite hunk costs $5 and votes can be cast online at www.wrcwv.org/newsevents/hunksinheels.

Tickets to the event can be purchased online also, or by calling 304-255-2559 or 304-255-4498.

Proceeds will be split between the Women’s Resource Center and Newspapers in Education.

WRC is a private, non-profit agency that provides temporary shelter, counseling, advocacy and supportive services for victims, survivors and witnesses of domestic and sexual violence.

Services are offered in Raleigh, Fayette, Summers and Nicholas counties.

Newspapers in Education provides newspapers to teachers in local schools to use as an educational tool.

—  E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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