Don Stevenson, Auburn’s 74-year-old ultra-walker, is well into his walk around the state of Washington, a benefit for the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) and 10-year-old Cullen Steele.
Cullen, a student at Auburn’s Holy Family Catholic School, faces a possible double-lung and heart transplant because of pulmonary hypertension.
Stevenson, known as the Pacin’ Parson, has covered nearly 200 miles after two weeks of the planned 1,200-mile trip – “Walking Washington for the Breath of Life” – to raise awareness and funds for COTA and Cullen. Stevenson officially began the walk from Auburn City Hall on July 6. He hopes to complete the walk by Aug. 20.
“I didn’t realize this walk will take me over five mountain highway passes. That dawned on me last week when I was on top of Washington Pass (pictured above),” he said. “Just last week I have crossed over four of those passes, including Sherman Pass, Rainy Pass and Wauconda Pass.
“I must tell you one of the highlights of my walk last week was a phone call from Cullen.”
Stevenson, a former teacher, pastor, volunteer, firefighter, truck driver and Marine, has logged more than 40,000 miles for charities since 1998.