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Hikers take 100-mile, 4-day journey from Vail to Catalina State Park to raise money for local food bank

Four-day hike is 100 miles
Hikers
Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 15, 2023

VAIL, Ariz. (KGUN) — When any of us travel across southern Arizona, most of us might opt for a car.

For Joe Pagac, he’s set out on a journey by foot all in the name of charity.

The muralist and avid hiker says he wanted to find a way to combine his love for hiking and philanthropy.

"I love helping out charities and helping out the community."

The four-day hike began in Vail on Wednesday morning and will finish Sunday at Catalina State Park as he makes the 100-mile hike in a hot dog costume raising money for the Community Foodbank of Southern Arizona.

"We just started hiking this morning, and we’re already at twenty-thousand dollars raised," Pagac said. He added that at the start of the hike, there we already 42 sponsors for the cause.

The goal is to raise $100,000 he says.

Of course, he isn’t making the trip alone; Jacob Pepper is one of about twenty hotdog-wearing hikers who joined Pagac for the journey.

"I got in a car accident and really rethought my life and wanted to start hiking for charity," Pepper said when asked why he decided to do the hike.

While a hike of this magnitude is challenging for even the most experienced hiker, Pagac said knowing you’ve put food on the table for others will make it all worthwhile

"If everyone’s fed and everyone has a quality of life that makes them happy, everyone’s going to be better off," he said.

For more information on how to participate, you can check out the Hotdog Hike website.

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Kenny Darr is a reporter for KGUN 9. He joined the team in January 2023. Before arriving in Arizona he was an Anchor and Reporter at KADN in Lafayette, LA. Share your story ideas with Kenny by emailing kenny.darr@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.