The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 25, 2012

Walk draws attention to domestic violence

Josh Byers

JOHNSTOWN — Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can be an enlightening experience.

That’s why Sgt. 1st Class Gregory M. Jones, 42, currently stationed in Honolulu with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, founded Walking In Her Shoes to help raise awareness of domestic violence.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Prospect Community Center at 301 Crouse Ave. in Johnstown.

Walk participants will descend at 9:45 a.m. from Prospect to Central Park, where guest speakers will address the crowd.

Featured speakers include a representative from the Women’s Helpā€ˆCenter and Mia Bell, a victim of domestic violence, who will give the keynote address.

This year the event will be held in honor of Royale L. Harvey-Morris, who was fatally shot by her estranged husband in late April before he turned the gun on himself.

Last year, Jones held the first Walking In Her Shoes event for his cousin Tasha Veney, who was shot by her husband.

“She was the second woman in my family to be killed because of domestic violence and I just wanted to do something to give back,” Jones, a Johnstown native, said.

The first to be taken from Jones family was his cousin, Vonzell M. Carter-Holliday, in 1991. She also was fatally shot by her husband.

Jones said about 100 people attended the event last year and he expects more this year.

“Royale was greatly loved by a lot of people,” Jones said.

At the park there will be a raffle of gift baskets donated by Holly Lees of The Learning Lamp and YWCA Association, and a reading of names of domestic violence victims.

Organizers are asking for a minimum donation of $5 for purple and white wristbands and a minimum donation of $1 for the raffle tickets.

All proceeds of the event will go to the children of Royale L. Harvey-Morris.



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