The man under the costume, Jesse Larios, hopes to make the journey of more than 400 miles by April 21 and donate the proceeds to a selected non-profit.
A life-size teddy is on a mission to raise funds for charity. "Bearsun" is the fictional character created by a 33-year-old Californian man, Jesse Larios. He is also the man under the teddy costume who is taking on a challenge like no other. Larios has decided to walk more than 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in his Bearsun costume to help raise money to donate to any selected non-profit. The journey started earlier this week and Larios aims to reach his destination by April 21. This is not Bearsun's first fundraiser but is definitely one of the more challenging ones.
"The goal is to finish under a week," the GoFundMe page for the event read. The journey began at LA's Little Tokyo and by Thursday Bearsun was already 100 miles in, having reached Bakersfield, California. Larios also clarified that he will also not be staying at hotels but will instead be camping outdoors the entire time. Bearsun's location can be accessed at any point from his Instagram page. "I’ll have a photographer meet me at 5 pinpoints to take pics, do video document so we can share as much as the experience with you," the description explained further. "So donate what you can & help us get this going." He is currently looking to raise $10,000.
Larios said that he decided to take this trip simply because it sounded like a fun adventure. He told CNN, "I'm like a puppy, I guess. I just see something, and I chase after it." But the journey is not an easy one especially since he has to walk through the mountainous trails and any detour just sets him back on his journey. According to his original plan, he was supposed to have reached the Bay Area by Saturday. Unexpected road closures and the need to reroute means he hopes to now reach the end of his trip by Wednesday, next week. As for Larios, it's not about when he reaches his destination, just that he does.
Like encountering a bear in the wild, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station spotted Bearsun on his journey a few miles in. They shared an update on Twitter that read: "Well this was a bear-y unique situation. You may have seen a large teddy bear walking through town, yes a large teddy bear....walking. One of our deputies got the opportunity to meet up with the individual inside the bear and learned he is on a mission to complete a walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We wish him the best of luck on his adventure!" Many other people who spotted a giant teddy bear merrily walking on the freeway also shared their sightings on social media.
This was a bear-y unique situation. You may have seen a large teddy bear walking through town. One of our deputies got to meet the individual inside the bear & learned his goal is to complete a walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We wish him the best of luck on his adventure! pic.twitter.com/oLLyZsfZE1— SCV Sheriff (@SCVSHERIFF) April 14, 2021
Among Bearsun's other fundraising adventures include his debut in 2019 running in the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon and the following year as well. "I had this goofy idea of just putting on the suit and trying to complete the marathon without ever running a marathon (before) — another impulsive decision that I made," Larios said. After his marathon experience, this has been a large-scale upgrade to his spontaneous missions. "This is what I want to do. I just want to run marathons in my bear suit," he said. "It makes other people happy too, and I'm all about laughter and smiles."