Championing The Walk a Mile Charge Against Family Violence

Al Madge with 2016 Top Walker award.

You’d never know that there was another side to the fun and frivolity of Finning’s senior manager, credit solutions, Al Madge’s technicolour tutu and the red shoes he dons for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. That’s because he doesn’t often talk about why he rallies the troops and challenges them to raise funds for the YWCA’s fundraising efforts to combat family violence.  But he does have a reason for strutting his stuff in a pair of stilettos. “I came from a violent home,” says Al. “My father abused my mom and my six siblings.  I was about six at the time. Back then, there was nowhere for us to go…we stayed with a friend of the family. We did eventually go back, but only after my father promised he wouldn’t do it again and he never did, so I guess that’s a testament to him.  My mom passed away in 2009 so I walk in her memory.”

But his mom’s memory is not the only reason Al slips on those red heels each year. “I have two daughters who are grown and in relationships now, and if they ever got into a situation like that and didn’t know who to turn to, I know they would have somewhere to go get help,” says Al.  

Al has been participating in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes since 2013. “I first heard about the event in 2011 – I saw it on TV.  I thought if I ever get the opportunity to work for a company who would allow me the time to participate in this event – I want to work for that company.” It turns out, that’s exactly what happened. Al took a job with Finning the next year. “Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to walk in 2012 but I have been participating ever since.”

Not just participating, Al’s been leading the fray in fundraising for the past four years. “I raised over $3,000 the first year because I told my team I’d wear a dress, I upped the ante to $5,000 in 2014 by promising to wear a tutu and tights. The team fell just short of that goal but they exceeded it in 2015 so that was the outfit I wore,” says Al. It was a repeat performance in 2016 for outfit of choice. “For some reason my team likes the tutu and tights,” says Al, but he outdid himself in the donation department, raising over $6,000, earning him the Top Walker (individual fundraiser) award for two years running in 2015 and 2016. Single-handedly, Al has raised a total of $17,878 in support of YWCA violence prevention and recovery programs to help those trying to walk away from domestic violence. Team Finning has raised a grand total of $85,000 for the cause since we started participating in 2012.

Al and team Finning will once again be joining the YWCA’s annual walk to end family violence, Wednesday, September 20 in Edmonton. Why walk? “What if it was your mother, daughter or sister?” says Al.  “Even if it’s not, it’s someone’s mother, daughter or sister, walk for them.”

Read Al’s story in the Edmonton Journal

For more information on the YWCA Edmonton Walk A Mile event or to donate visit: