NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCN) — New Bern High School students turned their performances into a purpose — to support a fellow classmate who was attacked by a shark.
Paige Winter’s theater class put on a series of plays Tuesday night to raise money for the teen and her family.
“She would have been performing tonight, and she’s an amazing actress,” said New Bern High School drama teacher Aaron Williams.
Winter, 17, was bitten by a shark at Fort Macon State Park Sunday. Doctors were forced to amputate her leg. She also suffered injuries to her hand.
Williams scrapped plans for a final exam Tuesday, instead turning the performances into a fundraiser.
“She is so strong. We know she’s going to pull through, but it’s the times ahead. That’s why we’re here as a community. The community has been amazing,” said Williams.
Before the performance, friends wrote colorful notes, wishing Winter a speedy recovery.
Her brother said the outpouring of love means so much.
“I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support we’ve been getting. All the messages we got sent were given to Paige yesterday, and she’s very thankful,” Kale Winter said to the crowd before the show.
Friends say although Winter was missed, they are pulling for her to take the stage and spotlight again.
“The fact that this happened and she’s not here tonight breaks my heart. We’re all praying for her,” said New Bern High School senior Lexxi English.
Family friends set up a GoFundMe page for Winter, saying money raised will be “used to assist in the many surgeries, physical therapy, prosthetics, recovery process.”