Rodeo Raises Funds To Cover Mammograms For Payson Women

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Teresa McQuerrey/Roundup

Chris Wolf (left), chief executive officer of Payson Regional Medical Center, along with Marketing Director Cory Houghton (second from left) and Chief Nursing Officer Hart Hintze (right) were on hand Friday to present a limited edition Tough Enough To Wear Pink classic guitar to Diana Hancock of Phoenix, and her son, bull rider Bubba Hancock.

The Payson Rodeo Committees and Payson Regional Healthy Woman Program have sponsored the Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP) projects for the last four years, raising funds for breast cancer research and education and free mammograms for women in the Payson area.

Cory Houghton, director of marketing at Payson Regional Medical Center, said, “On behalf of the Payson Regional Healthy Woman program, I would like to thank everyone that has been involved with raising this money for breast cancer programs and education. We are proud to be part of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign, along with the Pro Rodeo Committee and Payson Rodeo Preservation Alliance.”

Kathy Coombes, community relations liaison for the American Cancer Society, commented, “The Tough Enough to Wear Pink program that was started by Wrangler in 2005 has added to the awareness of breast cancer and the need for more research all across the country.  The Payson Regional Healthy Woman Program has taken on this project locally, and it shows their commitment to get involved and fight back against this terrible disease.”

Coombes thanked TETWP volunteers for their fund-raising efforts. “We appreciate everything they have done to make Tough Enough to Wear Pink a success in Payson,” she said.

The most successful project, a raffle for a limited edition TETWP classic guitar and other TETWP apparel and items donated by Payson Regional Medical Center, brought in over $1,000. The drawing for the raffle was conducted at the Aug. 14 rodeo. The winners of the TETWP bags filled with Healthy Woman items were Jan Owen and Roberta Tantimonaco of Payson and Jennifer Evers of Phoenix. The winner of the classic TETWP guitar was Diana Hancock of Phoenix.

Hancock said she bought only one ticket and dedicated the purchase to her cousin Darlena Casillas, who had just found out she has breast cancer. It was not her first visit to a Payson rodeo, though. She has been coming here for years because her son, Bubba, has been a professional bull rider for six years. In fact, he took third in the bull riding at the Spring 2009 Gary Hardt Memorial Pro Rodeo. He did not do so well in the August rodeo, but plans to keep coming back. Bubba Hancock is 16th in the Turquoise Circuit bull riding right now, he said.

TETWP and Healthy Woman items remain on sale at the Payson Regional and Senior Circle organization office, 215 N. Beeline Highway. The Payson rodeos have raised several thousand dollars in the last four years for TETWP and the Payson Regional Healthy Woman Program.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association launched the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” initiative in 2005 to raise funds for breast cancer treatments, education, screening and research. It started with Wrangler and has now extended to pink products from many rodeo sponsors. Cowboys and cowgirls wear pink to show a united and “tough” stance for eradicating breast cancer through treatment, education and research.

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