JULIA'S STORY & QUEST
On May 30, 2009, thirteen year-old Julia Marie Briggs, a former student of Farney Elementary, Black Elementary, and Hamilton Middle School, suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away from Mediastinal Lymphoma (a very rare and aggressive cancer).
Julia was an energetic, charismatic, inspirational, and caring leader who demonstrated her leadership through athletics and community service. In addition to playing lacrosse with the Cy-Fair Iron Maidens, Julia played basketball, ran cross country and was also actively involved in the Girl Scouts.
Prior to her passing, Julia was beginning her quest to attain the
Silver Award for Girl Scouts. Her idea was to gather stuffed animals for the
Houston Police Department for homicide detectives to give to children to hold
for comfort in times of crisis.
DECEMBER 5TH, 2009 DECLARED JULIA BRIGGS DAY
December 5TH, The original date of The Cy-Fair Burning Flower Lacrosse Tournament was officially declared as Julia Briggs Day by Harris County & The City Of Houston. Governor Perry also sent a letter of commendation recognizing Julia's dedication & impact on the community around her.
HARRIS COUNTY DECLARATION
CITY OF HOUSTON DECLARATION
LETTER FROM GOVEROR PERRY
To read more about the Burning Flower Story & Symbolism, as well as visit The Burning Flower Foundation Site, Click the image below.
Wednesday, December 16
MEDIA ALERT: HPD TO ESCORT STUFFED ANIMALS TO KIDS AFFECTED BY CRIME
At 11 a.m. on Saturday (Dec. 19), Houston police officers, together
with the organization Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.), The Cy-fair
Girls Lacrosse Association, and the Girl Scouts of America, will collect
stuffed animals to provide comfort to local children affected by crime.
The collection will be held at 11 at Arnold Middle School, 111 Telge
and then at noon on Saturday, representatives from HPD, escorted by
members of B.A.C.A., will begin delivering the animals to the Child
Advocacy Center and to various HPD divisions.
This effort was conceived by 13-year-old Julia Briggs, who wanted
children of homicide victims, witnesses or even of suspects to have
something to hold and comfort them during what can be a traumatic time.
More than 1,000 stuffed animals were collected earlier this month by
local students in her memory. Julia wanted to make a difference in the
lives of children affected by homicide.
Shortly after proposing the project to her lacrosse coach of three
years, HPD Homicide Sergeant Brian Harris, Julia died from a rare form
of cancer. At Julia's funeral, Sergeant Harris spoke of her mission
to help those children, but feared the drive would end with her untimely
death. To his delight, Julia's family, friends, and teammates took up
On December 5, students from the surrounding area donated more than
1,000 stuffed animals in Julia's memory, ensuring her vision of
comforting children affected by violence will carry on. Donated stuffed
animals will be distributed to the Child Advocacy Center, the HPD Victim
Services and Family Services Units, as well as the Homicide and Robbery
An additional $1,500 raised through the Burning Flower Scholarship fund
will benefit a youth who wants to attend summer camp. The recipient
will be selected after an interview based upon the youth's community
service and leadership roles in school and in the community.
This sign sits in the HPD Office
There are many loving tributes to Julia out there, here are just a few:
• A MAIDEN WITH WINGS - A touching Youtube video produced by the Schoech Family
JUNE 3RD, 2009 - MEMORIAL SERVICE
The Iron Maidens family has lost a bright and shining star.
Last night at Julia's packed-to-the-rafters memorial service, friends and family recalled stories that exemplified the spirit of this amazing young lady. We laughed, remembering her feistiness, and cried while recalling her ever-present caring nature. We heard about plans to continue her Girl Scout Silver Award project of collecting stuffed animals to be distributed to young victims of violence to comfort them in a time of great stress. It's a fitting project for a girl that had a gift of being able to diffuse a tense, or gloomy situation with a joke or funny face. We looked at scrapbook pages and a slideshow containing so so many precious pictures.
Is it just me, or did anyone else notice how many of them were of Julia doing the "Thumbs Up"? It's as if she was always saying, "It's gonna be okay...fo sho!"
We sang these words of an Indian Proverb:
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."
This is exactly what Julia did. And yes, we're crying now while she's rejoicing in the presence of Our Lord...
But come next season, when the Maidens must take the field, with Julia not physically beside us, but deep in our hearts, we'll wear her purple color and number 56 proudly, honoring her feisty and positive spirit....
THUMBS UP, MAIDENS...YOU KNOW!!!