Although it’s been 12 years since the shark attack that instantly changed Bethany Hamilton’s life, she continues to influence others through her personal journey. We were honored to partner with Cobian and host Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton, with our Buckle store at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida last Saturday. It was a touching experience for everyone involved. Bethany’s message of enduring personal tragedy to connect with and inspire others lives on.
You could feel the anticipation as this audience was anxious to have a minute with Bethany. Whether they look up to her as a role model with a desire to be a professional surfer someday, or their lives were touched by her story of hope and resilience, the crowd was ecstatic to let her know how much she meant to them. Fans young and old surrounded the Grand Court. We, too, were touched not only by Bethany’s message, but by the unique stories told by her fans. It wasn’t uncommon to feel a surge of chills or see tears forming in our eyes and those around us.
From a Dad in Austin, Texas who surprised his daughter with a trip to Florida to meet Bethany on her 10th birthday to a young girl from Orlando who recently fought through a serious illness by relating to Bethany’s story – the crowd was beaming with positive energy and hope.
Take a look for yourselves. (Special shout-out to Dwayne Fleming for the amazing photos!)
Giving back and helping others didn’t stop when the event ended. As a Cobian brand ambassador, Bethany showcased her Limited Edition Signature Sandal collection by Cobian. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this signature sandal collection is donated to “Friends of Bethany,” a non-profit organization supporting shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees. Buckle guests who purchased a pair of Cobian sandals received an #everystepmatters wristband which granted them access to the meet and greet line at the event to meet Bethany, get her autograph, and take a photo together. The wristbands sold out.
Did you attend the event? Have you met Bethany or has her story encouraged you? Let us know what inspires you or how you have raised up to overcome a difficult situation in your life.