(WTAJ) — About seven months ago, Jessy Larios started a journey dressed up in a teddy bear costume all the way in Los Angeles, California.
Larios, who also goes by Bearsun, is raising awareness and money for foundations that bring funding to the disabled community, cancer research, mental health awareness, autism and environmental charities.
Now in Central Pa., Larios’ decision to walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco has transitioned into traveling across the country— dressed as a teddy bear.
“It’s a character that I designed with my friend. The inspiration was one of my old dogs who I would always call bear,” Larios said.
What started as an impulse decision to walk across California has caught the eye of people all over, drawing in many fans that Larios says sparked his idea to start a fundraiser.
“The reason why I decided to do it as a character was I just thought it would be fun, and it has been,” Larios continued.
While the cross-country trek has put the Bearsun persona in the spotlight, walking hundreds of miles has not been easy. Larios and his bear costume had to travel through triple-digit temperatures in the Arizona heat and feel the heaviness of the character after it absorbs rainfall. Now, Larios will need to finish the last leg of his journey in chilly fall temperates.
“I like the cold. Plus look at me, I’m like a giant cushion. I think I will be fine,” Larios said.
So far, Larios has raised close to $20,000 on his journey and he still has a few hundred miles to go.
Once Larios finishes his trek across Pennsylvania, he will head off to his last destination, New York. You can track the teddy bear on the move and donate to the cause on the Bearsun website.