Family Transition Place (FTP) is preparing to honour the memory of Heidi Ferguson with their 9th annual memorial walk.
Heidi’s Walk, a virtual 5 km walk, run, or bike, is scheduled to take place Sept. 7 to Sept. 19. The annual memorial walk is a long standing event for Family Transition Place, raising awareness of violence against women as well as funds in support of educational program to help prevent future violence against women.
Heidi Ferguson died on Sept. 12, 2009 following a tragic domestic dispute with her estranged husband at the Orangeville home she shared with their children. The incident occurred shortly after Heidi filed for divorce.
In 2012, the Ferguson Memorial Walk (2012-2018), was started by Heidi’s parents, Gus and Penny Bogner, as a way to honour their daughter’s legacy. Hosted by Family Transition Place, the event in now called Heidi’s Walk (2019-present). Since 2012, the memorial walk has raised $145,000 for FTP programs and services. Last year’s event raised $10,667 and this year the local organization is looking to raise $10,000.
Family Transition Place was founded in 1984 and offers programs and services to women and their children who have experienced abuse, and unhealthy relationships. FTP currently offers a number of programs including emergency shelter, counseling for families in the shelter and community, sexual-assault counselling and workshops, transitional support services, and healthy relationship education.
Brennan Solecky, FTP manager of agency operations, said funds raised will go towards the organization’s programs and services including their Youth Education Program, which has gone through a massive evolution to expand online reach and available workshops to reach students outside of the classroom.
The Youth Education Programs are designed to teach kids about health relationships to help eliminate violence.
According to the FTP since beginning in 2001, the Youth Education Program has benefitted more than 50,000 student in over 40 schools.
Participants can register through www.heidiswalkftp.ca. Registration is $25 for adults, $10 for youth (12-16), and free for children 11 and under.
For more information on Family Transition Place and Heidi’s Walk, visit www.familytransitionplace.ca.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press