Perry residents gather for the “Fight like Addison” Benefit to raise money for Addison Bethea and her family

Perry residents show support to Addison Bethea to raise money for her and her family.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 12:35 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Saturday in Taylor County a “Fight Like Addison” benefit ride and concert event was held at the Forest Capital Park in Perry in honor of the shark bite survivor.

Hundreds came out in support to raise funds for Addison Bethea and her family Saturday as hundreds gathered in hopes of making her next journey just a little easier.

“I really appreciate everything that people do for me. Especially with all of the vendors and stuff with people coming with their own small businesses just to support me means a lot,” said Perry resident and shark bite survivor Addison Bethea.

Those vendors, along with hundreds of bikers participating in a 102 mile ride were doing what they can to make life a little easier for Bethea which is a process she says she’s also making strides in.

“It’s really different learning how to walk and stuff and like learning new ways to get around the house. Like I’ve figured out a lot of good ways to like get to my bathroom or to the kitchen and get to being independent finally,” explained Bethea. “So I really like it, because I’m not in bed all the time.”

Bethea has been surrounded by her friends and loved ones, which she says has made this transition a lot more bearable.

“It’s been so much better just being with my friends and stuff,” Bethea shared. “I just like being around people and especially my people so being around friends has been good.”

Addison wanted to make sure she made the most of the day Saturday. She wheeled around the park grounds with her brother Rhett, she helped with raffles and even received a plaque from the sheriffs office proclaiming her a local hero.

“I really do like the plaque, it’s really cool. Like it’s different and nobody really gets a plaque from their hometown so I thought it was really cool,” Bethea exclaimed.

And when it comes to getting back to the water, she says it will happen eventually but not without some extra precautions.

“I will as long as I have a shark shield I’ll be fine,” Bethea ensured. “Because I know those work and I won’t have a shark around me. I might be a little nervous and timid to get back again obviously but I’ll still do it eventually.”

In the meantime, she hopes to take on the journey one day at a time with her support system around her.

The family tells Brandon the event raised about thirteen thousand dollars Saturday in support of the family.