A few weeks before the incident that would take her life, Desiree Bragg discussed her infant son’s prospective education with her mother.
Bragg, 19, went to Bethlehem Lutheran School on Mountain Street and told her mother she wanted her son to go there, too. Her mother, Wrenetta Nadon, and the rest of Bragg’s family are trying to collect funds to help send infant Tristan to his mother’s alma mater.
Bragg’s other alma mater, the Paul Mitchell beauty school in Reno, is putting on a Cut-A-Thon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at 1600 Holcomb Ave. to raise funds for Tristan’s schooling.
Stylists whom Bragg worked with and knew and others who wanted to help out will be at the numerous chairs, scissors at the ready. The style drive’s stated goal is to raise $5,000 for Tristan’s education fund, which means 500 haircuts at $10 suggested minimum donation.
“Some knew Desiree and some didn’t. Some just felt the need,” Nadon said of the stylists donating their time.
The goal is to help send Tristan to Bethlehem Lutheran. In a few more weeks, Nadon will meet with a financial adviser to determine the best way to use the funds raised for Tristan’s schooling.
Most of the family members have let their hair grow long so they can have it cut at the fundraiser.
Nadon and her family have received an outpouring of support. Bragg’s headstone and its engraving have been donated, and a multitude of businesses have donated materially and financially, she said.
Nadon is still feeling the compassion from the community, from both going out and the fundraiser held at the High Sierra Brewery on Carson Street.
“It’s really hard for me to leave the house. Just because I always run into somebody who knew her or something,” she said, adding, “The fundraiser, it’s emotionally draining, but in a good way. The outpouring of love is wonderful to see but hard to emotionally cope with.”
A few big donations have helped the total currently in the account, more than $7,000. The Carson Valley Inn donated $1,000 in addition to pledging another $1,000 to Tristan annually until his 18th birthday. Aloha Medicinals has pledged $1,000. More than 35 business have donated to the family.
“I just want to thank the community because I don’t think I’ve ever seen this happen in a community ... You see all those fundraisers on TV for people and go, oh, that’s really nice, but you never consider that perfect strangers who have never met you will do something like that,” Nadon said.
Prosecutors allege Leonardo Cardoza injured Bragg during an apparent road-rage incident. Bragg later died from her injuries. Cardoza allegedly followed Bragg and her fiancé from a gas station on U.S. Highway 50 to her mother’s house off College Parkway, then accelerated his vehicle into Bragg when she exited her car and pinned her against the house. He is charged with the open murder of Bragg and the attempted murder of her fiancé and is being held without bail.