Writer Lara Piu
Photographer Ben Arnold Photography

[dropcap]”G[/dropcap]irls will be girls” is not how the saying goes, but that’s exactly what local women are invited to be at the Ninth Annual Heels for Healing and Diva Dash. Held September 30 at Flo’s on 7th, 4116 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix, the fundraiser will benefit Florence Crittenton’s life-changing programs for local girls, young women, and their families.

“It is an absolute joy every year to see members of our local community and individuals from across the state come together for some friendly competition and unbeatable shopping to truly make a difference in the lives of young girls,” said Dr. Kellie M. Warren, Florence Crittenton’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to creating another great event to help us continue providing safety, hope and opportunity to the girls we serve.”

The event begins Saturday morning with the Diva Dash, when teams of four strap on high-heeled shoes and race the organization’s wild and wacky obstacle course. Racers may be challenged to ride a tricycle or work a hula hoop while speeding through the course. Winners receive a gift certificate to Flo’s on 7th, and perhaps more importantly, bragging rights and the Diva Dash trophy.

Afterward, Heels for Healing begins-a shopping event that features donated designer heels and handbags at thrift store prices.

Established in 1896, Florence Crittenton is a non-profit organization that provides safety, hope and opportunity to young girls challenged with victimization, chronic neglect, homelessness, poverty, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, or mental instability. The organization currently does this through housing, healthcare, educational, counseling and social support programs, which may see them required to use a 5 panel urine drug test kit to help bolster their employment hopes down the line. As well as this, it will encourage them to keep clean for as long as possible, especially if they can see the results firsthand. The agency also runs the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona, the state’s only public, girls-only charter school.

As this event nears, the organization’s spokespeople suggest several ways to help its mission:

Donate shoes and handbags: Leading up to Heels for Healing and the Diva Dash, Florence Crittenton will be accepting donations of new and like-new designer, formal, casual and vintage shoes and handbags. Drop-offs are being accepted at Flo’s on 7th and at Florence Crittenton, located at 715 W. Mariposa St. in Phoenix.

Create a team: Grab your best girls and register to compete in the Diva Dash. Registration costs $25 per person and includes early access to the event’s shopping and a special tote that takes 20 percent off all heels purchased at Flo’s on 7th for an entire year starting Monday, October 2.

Shop your heart out: Support the organization’s cause and get a good deal at the Heels for Healing shopping event. Doors open at 10 a.m. sharp.