(video) — FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – One Fargo family is continuing their fight against child sexual assault this weekend with the second annual ‘Ride For Natalee’ fundraiser at Harley Davidson.
It’s a story we first brought to you in 2019, when the then 13-year-old babysitter responsible for sexually assaulting 4-year-old Natalee was convicted and sentenced to one year of probation.
Rosa Strubbe says last year’s inaugural fundraiser started all by accident, as the plan initially was only a for a small motorcycle ride to help her Natalee overcome one of her triggers.
“Natalee had a trigger of parks for her PTSD. She was raped facing a park and we wanted to replace a really horrific memory with a really good one,” Strubbe explained.
The ride turned out over 200 riders, and raised over $7200— A number they’re hoping to crush this year.
“The biker community in general loves to rally around causes, especially stuff that involves children and this is just one of those that’s just super special,” Harley Davidson co-owner Jimmy Entenman said.
“We’re hoping for 300 motorcycles and we would really like to raise $10,000 this year,” Strubbe said.
The money raised goes directly to the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center which offers free mental health services to victims and their families— A place Strubbe says has helped put her family back together again.
“It was a really tough time and they were compassionate and understanding. It was a safe place to be angry, and to be sad and to feel all of the emotions that come with hearing what happened to your child,” she said.
Strubbe says Natalee graduated from therapy last summer as she no longer shows signs of PTSD.
“The best part about (the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center) is we know this might pop up again when she hits puberty, and she’s able to go back at anytime completely free of charge,” Strubbe said.
She says this year’s mission is to not only empower Natalee: “She wants all the little girls like her to know that they’re world changers. And she wants people to ride with us so they know what a world changer looks like and when you look in the mirror, you’re one too,” Strubbe said.
“I’m brave and strong,” Natalee said.
Strubbe says the only thing she asks from those attending the ride is to give Natalee her space as she does still get overwhelmed sometimes and says high fives are better than hugs.
Strubbe says anyone wanting to ride must show up at Harley Davidson by 12:30 Sunday afternoon saying the ride will end at Hooligans Bar in West Fargo by 4 p.m.