A Huntington Beach pastor spent his 60th birthday Saturday walking more than 60 miles for a cause close to his heart.
Bob Ewing, the executive pastor of First Christian Church of Huntington Beach, decided to spend his birthday walking to raise money for Institute of Families, a nonprofit that provides counseling and support to families touched by cancer or vision-impacting diseases.
The Huntington Beach resident raised more than $8,500, surpassing his $6,000 goal.
"It was just a great day. Very painful, but I'll get over it," he said.
Ewing began his walk at 1 a.m. Saturday and finished at 8 p.m. in a parade of people back to his church, where congregation members were waiting — an emotional ending for Ewing.
"That still turns me to tears," Ewing
The walk wasn't easy for the 60-year-old, who said he started to feel it at mile 35, began losing energy at mile 40 and struggled through the last 10.
"It was a little more brutal than I thought," Ewing said, but he kept praying and thinking about his newborn grandson and Jake Olson, 12, a congregation member who is legally blind and the inspiration for holding the fundraiser for Institute of Families.
"I knew that my challenge wasn't anywhere near his challenge," he said.
Ewing said he won't be walking 70 miles
for his 70th birthday, but he will think of something.