FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth teenager is hoping for a good turnout for her fundraiser to benefit the survivors and victims' families of the mass shooting in Uvalde.
The fundraiser centers around people who love to ride horses, but everyone is invited to join in.
Almost every day you can find 14-year-old Brooklyn Ragan tending to or riding one of her two horses. When you see them having so much fun, you would never know that Brooklyn has been through a lot in her young life.
Her biggest triumph is surviving being bullied at school at the age of 9, which almost cost her everything.
"They bullied me into wanting to commit suicide," said Ragan. "And it was a really hard time for me. I was only 9 years old. I felt like I had no one. I felt like I was alone."
But the loneliness went away thanks to her horses.
Now, she advocates against bullying to stop teen suicides using her own hurt and pain. After the painful mass shooting in Uvalde, Brooklyn wants to help their hurt.
Ragan said, "All those friends of the children that passed away, just everything. It makes me hurt for them. And I just want to help in any way I can."
Ragan's way of helping started with a conversation with her mother about organizing a barrel racing contest on June 26 to raise money.
The two started strategizing, and the more they worked on the idea, the more it became a reality. They've even recruited sponsors for the event to help with prizes and giveaways.
Ragan also hopes it's an event that others who want to help will attend, especially if they, too, have been challenged by tragedy.
"It's just it's scary knowing that this can happen," said Ragan.
The barrel racing contest will take place at NTHRSA ARENA at 6229 Windy Ryon Way in Saginaw, Texas on June 26, 2022, with events like "Church in the Dirt" starting at 10 a.m.
There are barrel racing contests for all levels for both youth and adults. Ragan has also included non-barrel events to attract those people who don't ride horses but still want to be part of the fundraiser for Uvalde.
The sponsors include the North Texas High School Rodeo Association, the National Barrel Horse Association, WE Consignment & Training, and On The Square Trading Company.
Ragan said, "You can do a stick horse race. And we did something fun for the kids. Or we are taking donations to put because all the money that we have from this race, we are sending back to the Uvalde victims and for their memorial and stuff like that."
The barrel racing contest is the biggest task the 14-year-old has ever taken on, past her campaign to speak up for young people who suffer from bullying and might contemplate self-harm.
Ragan said, "I love helping people in any way I can."