Hampton Roads residents walking across country for victims of VB mass shooting

Local News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Four Hampton Roads residents are raising money for the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund, one step at a time. They plan to walk across the entire country later this month.

“We are walking from Santa Monica, California, to right here at the boardwalk,” said Robert Ellis.

That’s more than 2,700 miles. They plan to do it in only two months.

“It started out as as a joke and everybody who got involved is involved in fitness and we are really going to do this,” added Daryl Fischer.

55 miles a day. It sounds crazy.

“I ask myself that have I lost my mind,” Ellis chuckled.

But every step brings them closer to their goal and real reason behind this challenge.

“The goal is to spread awareness on what happened and the tragedy that happened and to raise money for this community,” said Mark Gerash.

The group calls themselves VB Strong Coast 2 Coast. They hope to raise more than $500,000 for the families and victims from the deadly shooting in May. They plan to document the journey on Facebook and their website

“I just felt bad for the people,” Ellis added.

“I look at my family in a totally different way,” Jerry Harding added. “Now I say goodbye every morning and say I love you just in case something like that happens.”

The walkers have been training for weeks.

“One person who crossed the U.S. told us we need to buy a case of mace to fend off bears as we walk to national parks,” Fischer said.

Let’s hope no bears, but they know it won’t be easy.

“I know it is going to be hard,” Harding added. “I know it is going to be long, but I know that we can do it.”

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