Hannah Anderson appears at Lakeside fundraiser for her family

Fundraiser held at Boll Weevil restaurant

LAKESIDE, Calif. - Rescued teenage kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson made her first known public appearance Thursday since her ordeal ended, attending a crowded fundraiser for her family at a Lakeside restaurant.

Authorities say Hannah, 16, was abducted by family friend James Lee DiMaggio after he allegedly killed her mother and 8-year-old brother on August 4.

Hannah's grandparents, Sara and Ralph Britt, arrived at the Boll Weevil restaurant just after 3 p.m.

Hannah arrived at the restaurant shortly after 4 p.m. with sunglasses on and was quickly ushered into the establishment.

She did not speak to the media.

Her father, Brett Anderson, addressed the media outside of the restaurant.

"This is a small community that we're part of, and the community came together, putting on this great fundraiser for Hannah and ... her future and healing," he said.

He also expressed gratitude once again to law enforcement, involved citizens and the news media for their help in finding his daughter.

"So, other than that, Hannah sends her love," he said. "She's doing good day by day, and we'll just keep moving forward from here. Thank you very much."

The father said the money raised during the restaurant event would help meet "a lot of expenses in front of us."

"I'm not a rich man by any means," he said, adding, nonetheless, that he might donate any unneeded monetary donations to agencies that fight exploitation of children.

"And right now, we're just working for her future and (to) get her settled, and that's about it for right now," he said.

In response to a question, Anderson said his daughter had been spending her time with family and friends since her homecoming.

"And she's just happy to be here," he said.

The fundraiser began at 11 a.m. and will run until 9 p.m. at the restaurant in Lakeside. Twenty-percent of all sales at the restaurant will be given to the Anderson family.

Workers were selling raffle tickets to local businesses -- some in the Gaslamp District -- and also for a TV.

The money raised will help pay for funeral costs for Hannah's mother and younger brother.

The money from the fundraiser is still being counted as of Friday, but organizers told 10News that more than $7,000 was raised, and the total could reach $10,000. The raffle alone netted $4,000.

The final tally should be known on Monday.

On Saturday, another fundraiser for the family will be held at the Living Hope Christian Fellowship (9455 Los Coches Road) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To donate to funeral expenses of Christina and Ethan Anderson, as well as therapy for Hannah:

Wells Fargo: Anderson Family Memorial Fund
Acct. #: 3224408462

10News anchor Kimberly Hunt spoke with Sara and Ralph Britt, and they asked her to relay the following message:

Sara would like people to know that while Hannah is putting on a happy face, she hasn't yet faced the reality of the loss of her mother and brother. She says the pain from this tragedy is so overwhelming Hannah can't yet face it. She's going to need time to heal and once again become "healthy Hannah."

Sara asks us to pray for Hannah as she undergoes therapy, deals with the upcoming funeral of her mother and brother and copes with a lifetime of loss.

And her parting words with Kimberly touched on her own pain of losing her daughter Christina and grandson Ethan. She said no matter how old your children are, always tell them you love them. You never know when you won't get another chance.

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