It’s almost been a couple of decades since Nick Phelps put on a pair of high-heeled shoes.
“I wore them in third grade for a class play and my name was Roxanne,” said the 24-year-old with a laugh. “I thought it would be the first and last time.”
Phelps will select a pair of the fancy footwear – along with a coordinating Derby hat – and strut his stuff around Westport Village on April 21 at the High Heels & Hats 1-Miler presented by Chambord, benefiting Best Buddies Kentucky.
“Best Buddies is very similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters but for those with (intellectual and physical) disabilities,” explained Phelps, who raised more than $17,500 for the organization last year during a seven-week fundraising competition, thus earning him the title “Champion of the Year.” (You can see a billboard featuring Phelps on Lexington Road near the Payne Street intersection.)
The organization was founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver with a mission of establishing “a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Best Buddies is now active in all 50 States, has programs in 50 countries and annually engages more than 500,000 people worldwide.
“My entire life, I’ve had friends (with intellectual and physical disabilities),” said Phelps, who also recalls attending a high school that had “great programs” for such friends, but he was bothered that they resulted in a segregation of sorts. “They were never integrated with us.”
So Phelps and his classmates took it upon themselves to embrace their special-needs peers. “This cause has always been something I’ve cared about,” he said.
That’s why Phelps will be among the participants walking the walk – in stilettos or wedges; he hasn’t decided – and talking the talk. “I think that everybody kind of has a responsibility to help others,” he said. “High Heels and Hats is a really simple but well-put-together event for people to enjoy the fine shops at Westport Village and … help others, too. And the theme is perfect for Derby.”
Contact writer Angie Fenton at 502.551.2698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strut Your Stuff
What: High Heels & Hats 1-Miler presented by Chambord.
When: April 21 – registration is 7 to 8 a.m.; walk is at 8 a.m.; breakfast at Napa River Grill begins at 9 a.m.
Where: Westport Village.
Why: To raise funds for Best Buddies Kentucky, which makes a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
Details: Everyone – regardless of gender – is invited to participate in this unique, Derby-season event and strut your stuff in a 1-mile walk around Westport Village in your best high heels and hats. (Note: Can’t wear heels? Come anyway.) At the conclusion of the walk, participants are welcome to enjoy brunch at Napa River Grill while looking through their goodie bags of Westport Village store coupons and gift certificates. The brunch will include a fabulous auction and awards ceremony, too. Awards will be given for highest heels, best hat, and even “sexiest guy in heels.” If you register early for the “stroll, eat and shop” event, you may be eligible for exclusive specials, including 40 percent off your entire purchase at 6pm Outlet (formerly known as the Zappos Outlet Store).
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.