Name: Tracy Cookman
About: Founder/Executive Director/President
Having been raised on the back of a horse in Washington, it was no secret to Tracy what spending time with horses can do for a kid. From an early age, she had a heart for orphans and at-risk youth, so it was natural to combine her desire to help them with rescuing horses. Her dream of a youth ranch where kids could come and heal with horses was born a couple of decades ago and only in 2009 did the plan begin to come together. Five years later, by the grace of God, Charis Youth Ranch has become a reality and each year more kids and horses are rescued and helped to heal. Tracy's career as a Real Estate Broker pays the bills and affords her additional opportunities to help people. She lives in Fort Collins and is mom to 5 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 1 granddog.
Name: Anna Damico
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.
Name: Brianne Hill
Name: Cathy Nelson
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.
Name: Cecelia Granby
Name: Fiona Hynes
I started volunteering with Charis Ranch in June 2021. I wanted to get some volunteer experience and have always loved horses. Taking care of these horses is often a highlight of my week.
Name: Herb Nelson
About: Webmaster/Facility/ 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.
Name: Jeanne Petrillo
I moved from Massachusetts to Fort Collins in April, 2021. Having been a lifetime rider, horse owner and barn worker, I wanted to continue to care for and give back to the equine world in some capacity. Charis was a perfect fit for me. It also afforded me the chance to make good friends and establish contacts. Thank you everyone.
Name: Kari Roehrkasee
Name: Katie Kessinger
Name: Kerri Schnulle
Name: Kyleigh Maynes
Name: Lindsay Daley
Name: Lucia Ginten
About: Fundraising/Admin/ 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.
Name: Lucia Meester
Name: Maureen Maguire
Name: Nicole Oleski
Name: Saige Pritchard
Name: Sommer Swasey
Name: Tiffini Harris
Volunteering at Charis Ranch has been a wonderful growing experience for our family. Being a volunteer at the ranch since November 2018 has given us more than what we could ever give in return. Many life lessons can be learned out in the beautiful mountainous pasture in Laporte. Volunteering at the ranch has taught us that all living things deserve their own place in this world, resilience, patience, determination, grit and responsibility to other living things besides ourselves. Within the serenity of the property, We have also learned self reliance and creativity and to take a moment and appreciate just being alive and the beauty of the moment. A lot to place on volunteering but it’s true: it’s better to give than receive!
Name: Trisha Swift
About: Riding Instructor/Barn owner/Feeder
Name: Alyssa Berg
About: I came to the ranch in August 2019 because I was always interested in horses and I love animals. I love how the ranch brings people together, and how they use horses to help people. I love that we are able to give horses second chances.
Name: Anna Oleski
About: I started in the spring of 2020 because my sister is a volunteer and I fell in love with horses and gained a huge bond with them. I love the ranch because I love how Tracy saves all of these horses and I love how it's like a retirement for them!
Name: Emma Cookman
About: I love the ranch because of the horses (of course) and because of the incredible friendships and relationships I’ve been able to forge through the programs. Since I started working with the horses, I’ve had decreases in my anxiety, it gives me something to get my mind off of things. When they say “Broken horses healing broken children” they really mean it!!! Being around these gentle giants is such a privilege, I am so grateful for every horse at the ranch. They each have unique personalities and quirks, and it’s been great to get to know each horse on such a deep level.
Name: Hope Harris
About: Charis ranch means so much to me, it helps me open up to not only horses but all kinds of situations and relationships that I had no idea existed. I have made so many friends and amazing people just through the ranch! When I was a little girl I wanted a horse and when I joined the Charis ranch youth program in November 2018 I was able to make my dream come true! I’ve been able to learn so many things about horses and how to take care of them! Charis ranch has made my dreams come true and has been a huge learning experience for me! Thank you for everything Charis!
Name: Autumn Jones
About: I joined the ranch in September 2019 because I was excited to start a new "career path" with horses. I wanted to ride horses but was never allowed to so I thought a "work to ride" trade would work well. After a while, I ended up making friends and getting a great bond with the horses and now I'm here!
Name: Hope Oleski
About: 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.
Name: Rileigh Tibbs
About: I started in April 2021 because I wanted to do something with horses. My mom's friend found Charis for us.