Cowboys, crews and rodeo fans are partnering to help in the fight against a foe fiercer than any bull or bronc to hit an arena.
The first regular performance of the 2009 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo will be devoted to the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. So, be sure to be in the pink when you come out for the 7 p.m., Friday, May 15 rodeo performance. Friday night, for every contestant in pink, $3 will be given for direct assistance to the victims of breast cancer and support groups in the area; for everyone in the audience in pink, $1 will be contributed. There will also be pink items available for purchase at a booth manned by Chase Bank’s manager Romeo Zavala and his staff.
Instituted by Wrangler in 2005, the corporation most recently gave approximately $2 million to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure for breast cancer. Funds collected by the campaign at the corporate level go to Susan G. Komen, funds raised at local events go to local efforts, according to John Landino with the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee, which presents the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo.
The “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” project debuted during the 2006 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. With the Wrangler brand at the helm, cowboys, cowgirls, rodeos, retailers and manufacturers were motivated to help raise funds.
“Breast cancer touches everyone,” said Phil McAdams, president, Wrangler Specialty Apparel.
“Tough Enough to Wear Pink is our way of recognizing the courageous women and men who face the disease and the family and friends who face it with them. We hope to use the strength of the Wrangler brand to help lead the western industry to raise $1 million in the fight against breast cancer and support such a universal cause.”
To coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the special-edition TETWP shirts for men and women hit shelves in October 2006. A redesigned Wrangler rope emblem in the shape of the renowned breast cancer ribbon signifies the parallels between the cowboys who won the West and the brave women and men who are determined to win the battle against breast cancer.
The initiative culminated in December at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Rodeo contestants wore the special-edition TETWP shirt during a rodeo performance.
“The concept of tough cowboys wearing pink might sound funny, but that contrast is what makes Tough Enough to Wear Pink so special,” said Karl Stressman, director of sponsorships, Wrangler Specialty Apparel.
“Pink will symbolize courage, strength and determination when the western industry comes together in the fight against breast cancer.”