Help needed for fundraiser for shark attack victim

Family, friends planning benefit to pay for Garrett Sebesta's medical bills

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Sebesta was bitten by a shark on June 17, while swimming with friends.

HOUSTON - Family and friends are organizing a fundraiser for a Needville teenager attacked by a shark while swimming with his church group in Surfside Beach.

Garrett Sebesta, 15, is still recovering at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center after the June 17 incident.

A Livestock Progress Show is planned for Aug. 17 at the Needville Harvest Park at 3001 Violet Street.

The event will also include a barbecue dinner, live and silent auction and a band.

Sebesta just finished his freshman year at Needville High School. He is active in the livestock community. He has won several state awards and planned to spend his summer showing livestock and attending livestock camps.

"We're looking for 75 to 100 people to help that day," said family friend Becky Reeh. "We want to make this like a mini-fair for Garrett."

Reeh hosted a planning meeting on Sunday at her home. More than one dozen people, including Sebesta's high school friends, relatives and community attended.

"We come from a very close family," said Taylor Ortega, Sebesta's cousin.

Ortega is taking care of Sebesta's barn while he is in the hospital. Everyone is welcome to volunteer at the benefit or to show their livestock.

"The progress show is not just limited to Fort Bend County," said Ortega. "People can come from all over Texas or Louisiana."

Lambs, goats and steers can be entered. Buckles, awards and blankets will be handed out. Judges will be on hand to determine winners.

The group organizing the benefit needs extra help.

"We need all kinds of donations," said Reeh. "From auction items, meat, ice, paper goods, and even toilet paper."

If you would like to help, you can sign up at the official Garrett Sebesta Benefit Facebook page.

You can also make a donation to the Garrett Sebesta Benefit at the Amegy Bank in Needville.

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