A Red Deer girl who has been a victim of bullying for months will get some support this weekend.
This Saturday, dozens are expected to participate in the Anti-bullying Awareness Ride for Brooklynn, which begins in Calgary and ends in Red Deer.
In a letter written to the Red Deer Advocate last month, Shannon Beninger said her eight-year-old daughter Brooklynn has been bullied by a boy for the past seven months.
After an unsuccessful attempt to get police and Children’s Services involved, Beninger said she has “no place left to turn” and her child doesn’t feel safe going outside.
“My daughter needs protection. I need help from someone. The people I thought I could count on are refusing to do anything but talk to him,” Beninger said in the letter.
“It’s going to take my daughter being killed or permanently disabled for someone to help us and protect her. I need help. I need to know what to do when all else fails.”
The president of Bikers Are Buddies Canada, Jay Sullivan, who lives in Calgary, reached out to the mother after she made her daughter’s story public.
“He was wondering how they could help and he decided they were going to do an anti-bullying ride for Brooklynn,” Beninger told the Advocate on Thursday.
“Once Jay had made the Facebook page and started talking to his friends, more groups wanted to join in. So many people came together to make this happen. It just started as a little thing and now it’s kind of blowing up, which is a good thing.”
Bikers Are Buddies Canada will be joined by Against All Abuse and Bullying Enns for Saturday’s ride.
Beninger said it’s “nice to know that someone” listened to her daughter’s story and reacted.
“There are other children going through the same thing, unfortunately,” she said.
“Now they have a story that they can look to, and see her voice was heard, and someone did something for her. It gives me hope there’s encouragement for younger children – if they’re being bullied, they can get their story out there and get the help they need.”
The ride will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Calgary. Participants will regroup at Red Deer’s Carnival Cinemas at 11:30 a.m. and will then ride to Brooklynn’s home.
The Facebook event page says “Brooklynn is having some serious issues with bullying. We are going to ride out to give her support and help.”
Physical distancing rules will apply during Saturday’s event, where there will be a live performance by Red Deer hip hop artist Ms. Teaze.
To see the event page, search Anti-bully Awareness Ride For Brooklynn on Facebook.