FARGO — Motorcycles, leather and lots of glitter filled the parking lot of Harley Davidson of Fargo on Sunday, Aug. 18, as hundreds of people showed their support for 5-year-old Natalee Strubbe, whose love of unicorns and glitter is never-ending.
“I like them because they have a horn,” Natalee said.
A group had gathered for a ride to raise money for the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center, which helped Natalie through her darkest times. Natalee was sexually assaulted last year by a family friend in a local park.
After it happened, her family decided to share her story publicly and pushed for changes to state juvenile justice law with the hope of helping families affected by similar crimes. Gov. Doug Burgum signed “Natalee’s Law” earlier this year, which went into effect Aug. 1.
Natalee’s mother, Rosa Strubbe, said her daughter at one point asked how many people the law would help. When Rosa told her thousands, Natalee replied: ” ‘Well, I’m kind of a world changer.’ “
On Sunday, she was surrounded by a community that means the world to her. She’s officially a member of The Women in The Wind, a national women’s biker group that she calls her “big sisters.” Natalee was excited she got to ride in style with one of her “sisters” in a Polaris Slingshot, a three-wheeled motor vehicle.
“We’re so impressed with how strong she is, and we just want to help support her and help her heal and grow from all this,” said Traci Sletmoe, a member of the group.
The Women of the Wind and hundreds of other bikers showed their support for Natalee, by helping her get over her fear of parks with a group ride. They rode to a few local parks in Glyndon, Dilworth, and ended at Gooseberry Mound Park in Moorhead.
To prevent panic attacks, Natalee has power poses that she does to calm herself down if she gets scared. One of them is when she puts her arms up in the air and says the words, “I am brave.”
Rosa said she just wants her daughter to not be afraid of parks anymore, “We’re hoping that after today, she’ll have this great memory and we can just move forward with our lives.”
Natalee handled the ride well, and even played in the sandbox at Gooseberry Park in Moorhead.
The Riders had a final gathering at Gooseberry Park where they revealed they raised just over $7,000 for the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center.