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In 13 years, Steve Schwab has walked over 2600 miles for the Mexico Children’s Foundation. Why does he walk? In an impromptu press conference held shortly after Schwab walked the last miles to this year’s finish point just north of Puerto Peñasco on Thursday, Feb. 25th, he explained, “It’s to raise money for the foundation; the foundation (formerly Peñasco Children’s Foundation) helps children whose families can’t pay for their medical needs.”
Over the years the Foundation, as a grass roots organization, has provided support for over 120 children with a multitude of different illnesses or needs including leukemia, tumors, Guillain Barré syndrome, and disformities, among others. One of MCF’s young recipients, Ana Paula Medina González, along with her family were on hand with a bouquet of flowers as Steve reached his goal this year. MCF had helped Ana Paula fight a malignant tumor when she was 8, and now in high school she is a thriving student.
This year, as Schwab crossed the “finish line” just a week after setting out from Phoenix on Feb. 18th, more than $10,000 USD had already been raised for the foundation (on their GoFundMe page) from the walk, and Steve expects this year’s total to reach $17,000. He detailed funds are raised by going out and soliciting donations on a per mile basis, noting that in addition to donations on the Foundation’s GoFundMe page, “there are a lot of checks, and corporations that have sent money; so between all of it it’s about $17,000 US, and they usually do it on a per mile basis.”
Along Steve’s week-long trek across the Sonoran desert he was joined by friends and supporters each day, including his former Army Sargent, Sgt Major Jeff Howard who helped kick off the walk, Kent White and Roberto Gracida along the road in Arizona, and Richard Scott who joined Schwab for the second to last day as they walked south from Sonoyta. “When I walk with somebody, I tend to walk further and faster.” No, Steve does not camp on the side of the road, but rather marks distances throughout the walk so that he can return to where he left off day after day while finding additional time to run to appointments and tend to business.
The Local Director of the Municipal Youth Institute applauded Schwab on the walk and expressed interest in seeking ways to further support MCF’s efforts. Schwab noted one of the best ways to assist the MCF locally is help in identifying children and families that could best benefit from the Foundation, adding, “I’m sure we could find 100 different ways to find synergy between our organizations, and I’d be excited to work with you on that.”
After meeting with the press, Schwab was congratulated by Puerto Peñasco Mayor Kiko Munro and Sonoyta Mayor Heriberto Serrano Campos, who both expressed their desire to assist Schwab in next year’s walk. Schwab also indicated his plans for the future are to explore possible relays along the route from Phoenix to Puerto Peñasco.
Schwab is President and CEO of SeaSide Reservations, begun in Puerto Peñasco and now in spots across Mexico and beyond. In 2003 Steve began what was then Peñasco Children’s Foundation, which changed to Mexico Children’s Foundation (MCF) as Steve’s interest across Mexico grew. More information: MCF Charity Walk