Name: Tracy Cookman

About: Founder/Executive Director/President

Tracy has been self employed, operating her own business since she began her real estate career as a single mom in 2001 in Washington state. Specializing in building relationships with her clients in order to reach their real estate goals, she has been awarded for  sales achievement in both Washington and Colorado. Tracy wears many hats as mother to her 5 children first,  Founder of this nonprofit and Real Estate Broker. In addition to writing the Manifesto for Charis Youth Ranch, she co-wrote the Youth Program Curriculum which is taught every summer to the kids who come to the ranch. Prior to her career in real estate she worked in Human Resources as an Employment Counselor helping people find and keep jobs.  Her strengths are communication, perseverance and faith.


Name: Alice Harsha

About: Fort Collins Feeder

I started volunteering in November 2019. I live close to the Fort Collins location and jumped at the chance to volunteer when I found out about Charis. The values of this organization are wonderful and I couldn't be happier to be a part of it. The opportunity came at a rough time in my life and working with these horses has brought much needed joy and happiness to my heart. Not only are the horses amazing but the people are all so kind and wonderful. Charis saves horses, helps people, and healed me.


Favorite horse: Red (but I love all of them dearly)

Name: Anna Damico

About: Laporte Feeder 

I chose to volunteer at Charis Youth Ranch because I love horses and I have never actually done too much with horses before so I wanted to try this out. I love doing it.  Just being around these guys just makes my day that much better. I started in August 2019. I love that they rescue horses. That is mostly why I chose to volunteer here. 

Favorite horse: McCool, Jett, Atlas

Name: Arden Cunningham

About: Laporte/Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse:

Name: Ashley Muirhead

About: Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse:

Name: Becca Perkins

About: Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse:

Name: Carrie Martello

About: Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse:

Name: Cathy Nelson

About: Finances/Facility/Fort Collins Feeder

I have always loved horses and had taken lessons for 12 years before I moved to Fort Collins in 2018.  I wanted to continue to be involved with horses in some capacity.  I found Charis through their website and started volunteering in September 2018.  I love being around all of the horses, the feeling of peace I have while on the ranch and the mission of Charis in healing children and horses. The volunteers are like family and I found my place in my new town.

Favorite horse: Sven & Mort

Name: Cece McElwee

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

I started volunteering at the ranch in 2019. I was little when I did the kids' programs and I fell in love with the horses and the people. I came back in 2019 to work with the horses and start a new chapter in my life. The thing I love the most about the ranch is the people and all the fun we have.

Favorite horse: Rumor & Sven

Name: Daniel Weiner

About:  Laporte Feeder

I wanted to learn about horse care, and teach my daughter horse care and safety. We live next door so it's great to be able to go see the horses any time throughout the day or check up on horses that need extra attention.  I love being able to take time to enjoy nature's beauty at the ranch. 

Favorite horse: Jett

Name: Grace Covak

About:  LaporteFeeder

Favorite horse

Name: Hanna Spencer

About:  Laporte Feeder

When I started at Charis in August of my freshmen year, I was looking to gain equine experience while dedicating myself to volunteering for a ranch in need. The first day I pulled up to the Laporte property, I fell in love with the horses and the values that Charis stood by. Maintaining a property with a large number of rescue horses is not an easy task. It takes a dedicated, caring team to keep everything in order and that’s exactly what I see in the family I’ve built at Charis.  Charis rescues a wide range of horses, each having a unique personality that draws you in. I’ve spent a good amount of time and fallen in love with each and every one of the horses. 

Favorite horse: Molly

Name: Hannah Eck

About:  Finances/ Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Herb Nelson

About:  Webmaster/Facilities/Fort Collins Feeder

I have been feeding Thursdays with Cath since February of 2019.  During this time I have morphed from someone who just didn't even like to touch horses into someone who has a philosophical understanding and respect for equines.  The nice thing about the morning shift is watching the sun rise and seeing how different the mountains look each day.  It's exhilarating to say the least.

Favorite horse: Mort

Name: Hope Oleski

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

I started in 2016. One of the Junior Volunteer’s moms recommended the ranch to me and now I love it.  What I love about the ranch is the people and how loving and supportive everyone is.

Favorite horse: Cisco

Name: Jeff Bauer

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

We started in October of 2019 as we became aware of Charis's mission, facilities, and people through a rescue experience with our  new horse London.. Although we are new, my wife and I anticipate making the Trilby location, all the horses, and the building relationships among all volunteers a primary goal moving forward. I love the ranch period. It’s really a slice of heaven. The facilities are amazing, the horses are so personable especially when they know you have treats in your pocket! To me the solitude of serving in such a beautiful place, with barn cats, great horned owls, and rescue horses with amazing personalities, is perfect! 

Favorite horse: Too hard to choose!

Name: Jennifer Bauer

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

I’m passionate about rescuing animals especially horses. I recently rescued an off the track thoroughbred and heard about Charis from a friend. I visited and fell in love with the mission and the people. I am so blessed to be a part of this incredible organization. I LOVE the people. The volunteers are incredible. Everyone is so sweet and I love the feel of family. We all work together and love what we do. I also love the horses. They are obviously so grateful to have jobs and people to love on them.

Favorite horse:  Too hard to choose just one!

Name: Jesse Weiner

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Josie Baldwin

About: Laporte Feeder

I started volunteering in September 2017. I was new to the area and I wanted to find somewhere that I could get experience working with animals, while also making a positive impact on their lives. I’ve always loved the energy at the ranch and everything it stands for. My favorite thing about the ranch is, of course, all of the horses. I also love how it can be a totally different experience each time you’re there. I’m always learning new things about the horses and myself.

Favorite horse: Jett and Angel

Name: Kate Fens

About: Facilities/Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Krista Miller

About:  Laporte Feeder

I started volunteering at Charis in the summer of 2017...maybe it was 2016 but I can't really remember!  My grandparents, who lived in Arizona, always had horses, so growing up in Ft. Collins, I was around horses just enough to be scared of them. I always loved them from a far, but they terrified me!  They are these giant, beautiful, beasts that know your fears!  My uncle would tell me that they knew I was scared, so I was scaring them, which made me even more scared because I felt like they were reading my mind!  I started volunteering because I wanted to learn to be around them up close and personal and how to care for them. I never imagined that I would, one day, be able to communicate to a horse and they would listen.  That I could tell them with my own body language and energy to back up, turn, stop.  The communication that goes on between humans and horses is so intriguing to me because they do feel your feelings and, I swear, they do totally read your mind... let alone when they want to tell YOU what to do (Babe!). 

Favorite horse: I can't choose - I love them all!

Name: Kylee Goldsmith

About: Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Leah Gibson

About: Volunteer Coordinator/Laporte & Fort Collins Feeder

I began volunteering with Charis Youth Ranch in the fall of 2017. I've been a horse lover since I was young, and this was a great opportunity to help horses and people. I love the wonderful community of volunteers we have at the ranch who put their hearts and souls into caring for these horses. The ranch is the perfect place to get away from the hectic day to day and focus on being in the moment with the horses. 

Favorite horse: Atlas

Name: Lisa Sarussi

About:  Facilities/Laporte & Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Lucia Ginten

About: Fundraising/Admin/Laporte & Fort Collins Feeder

I had just moved here from Germany and was missing my old work, which was pretty similar to what we do at the ranch. Working with kids and horses. My husband saw that volunteers were needed and I applied right away, in June 2014. I love that I can work with all types of horses, do ranch work and be outside because it brings me peace and I love the smiles that those horses put on all those kids faces during the summer, because I know they can feel that peace too (even if it's just for a little while). I love how much happiness these horses put into those little hearts.

Favorite horse: Sterling

Name: Madison Tomlinson

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Makela Riorden

About:  Laporte Feeder

Ultimately I chose to volunteer at Charis because I need non-profit volunteer hours for a scholarship I received. I chose Charis because I own two horses back home and thought it would be a good way to get my horse fix in. I love horses and what better way to spend time with horses than feeding and rehabilitating rescued horses. I love the whole reason the ranch began and the fact that it is run completely by volunteers and is a non-profit organization. I love the ranch mostly because its gives me the opportunity to get away from reality and spend a peaceful morning or afternoon for free. Honestly, it really puts you in a good mood!

Favorite horse: Padah (I call her Shorty!)

Name: Michelle Cornwall

About: Fort Collins Feeder.

I started in August 2016 and decided to join because I was coming to college and missed my horses back home and wanted a way to connect with horses in college.  I love how much of a safe environment it is and how I can go and lay in a pasture to think and relax as well as making a bunch of friendships with people and horses alike.

Favorite horse: Red

Name: Mina Muirhead

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Natasha (Tosh) Hernandez

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name: Nicole Oleski

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse: Cleo

Name: Olivia Clancy

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse

Name:  Rachel Fousek

About:  Laporte Feeder

I've been at the ranch for 6 years now. Initially I joined as a way to get some volunteer hours and get my horse fix, but over the years I've fallen in love with this place. Even though I already had a fair amount of horse experience prior to joining, the ranch has taught me so much and helped me grow both as a horse person and as an individual. It's really awesome to witness how it helps other people (and horses!) grow and heal as well. My favorite horse would probably have to be McCool, with his goofy puppy dog personality, and Randy and Romeo, though no longer with us, will always have a special place in my heart.

Favorite horse: McCool

Name:  Riese Lopes

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

I chose to volunteer at Charis because I enjoy being with horses and especially because these are rescues and I love see how they are still able to make people happy whether they can be ridden or not.  I love that Charis has a good spirit.  I love that I can learn freely and spend as much time as I want with the horses.  I especially love all the kind-hearted people that I have become close to.

Favorite horse: I love them all!

Name:  Siage Pritchard

About:  Fort Collins Feeder

Favorite horse

Name:  Sami Smith

About:  Laporte Feeder 

I chose to volunteer here because I have had no experience with horses and have always wanted to be around them. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such peaceful animals. They truly make me so happy.  I love how the ranch allows anyone to be around their horses. Experience or no experience! The other volunteers are so nice and willing to help in any way they can.

Favorite horse: Cooper

Name:  Sarah Gayle

About:  Laporte/Fort Collins Feeder

I started at Charis in October of 2017 after finding a listing on a volunteer site. I grew up around horses and missed being in a barn and I thought it was a great way for me to be able to give back to the community as well as helping myself.  I love how just being there feels so healing and I love seeing the positive growth in the horses and the kids who come to us feeling broken.

Favorite horse: I love all the Fort Collins horses!

Name:  Sharon Muelken

About: Fort Collins Feeder

At the end of July in 2018, I was chatting with Jesus saying, “I miss horses so much, can you please put them back into my life?”  Within a month, I was introduced to Tracy.  The moment she shared the ministry Jesus had given her, I fell in love with Charis, and joined the Charis Family. Spending time with horses is like chocolate to my heart and soul!  All the ranch smells and chores are my choice of aromatherapy and playtime.   

Favorite horse: I love them all!

Name:  Tiffini Harris

About:  Laporte Feeder

Favorite horse

Name:  Wayne Oleski

About:  Facilities

My family and I chose to volunteer at Charis ranch because we have always loved all types of animals.  We started in the summer of 2016. I feel like I'm out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life when I'm at the ranch.  It's like a getaway that is right around the corner.

Favorite horse: Red