TORONTO–Today, Halton Women’s Place recognized Unifor National President Jerry Dias as he reached the milestone of $1 million in lifetime donations at the union’s ‘Hope in High Heels’ event in Toronto.
“When Jerry and the Unifor team walk every year, year after year, they’re showing women that they are not alone, they’re showing women that we are standing behind you,” said Laurie Hepburn, Executive Director of Halton Women’s Place.
“We know how hard it is to fundraise and we are so grateful to receive another incredible donation today but also to celebrate the amazing lifetime donation of $1 million that Jerry has helped raise over the last 10 years.”
Dias and his son Jordan have led Team Unifor in ‘Hope in High Heels’ walks since 2011. When the pandemic forced the cancellation of the main fundraising walks in 2020 and 2021, Dias and the Unifor Team held their own COVID safe events to continue efforts to achieve the million-dollar goal.
“I am so grateful to the individual and corporate sponsors who have supported me over a decade of ‘Hope in High Heels’ walks,” said Dias. “I wish there was no need for us to fundraise each year but the reality is that government funding falls far short of what is needed for Halton Women’s Place and similar organizations to provide the services needed to assist women and children escape and rebuild their lives free from violence.”
Today, Dias and Team Unifor walked in pink high heel shoes at the union’s ‘Hope in High Heels’ event outside Toronto City Hall raising more than $160,000 to push Dias’ lifetime total over the $1 million mark. Halton Women’s Place Executive Director Laurie Hepburn honoured Dias by presenting him with a plaque and announcing that the ‘Hope in High Heels’ top pledger award will now be dedicated as the Jerry Dias Award.
Halton Women’s Place Executive Director Laurie Hepburn honoured Dias by presenting him with a plaque and announcing that the ‘Hope in High Heels’ top pledger award will now be dedicated as the Jerry Dias Award.
“When Jerry and team walk to raise a million dollars what an incredible achievement for them, demonstrating their continued passion, perseverance, commitment and solidarity in standing with women,” said Hepburn. “There is a ripple effect and people see that these are the champions and these are the people that are making a difference in the lives of so many.”
Dias is a board member of Halton Women’s Place, the only shelter in Halton Region that supports women and children experiencing abuse and violence through residential and outreach services.
“I urge the men who join me to raise funds for shelters once a year to stay active all year round on the issue of gender-based violence,” Dias said.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
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