By Eraina Hooyer
Being tough has paid off. The third annual Wranglers Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day raised $9,000 on June 29 during the Ponoka Stampede in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
The event challenged cowboys, cowgirls and spectators to wear pink to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation.
There was a whole arena of support for TETWP Day and the proof was clear that the power of pink was embraced by those at the Stampede.
Booths were set up at the grounds to provide information and sold items such as bracelets and bandanas.
Also during the Stampede a 50/50 draw was taken for both performances by the Cadet Club and they donated their share to the cause. The Stampede also donated a share of their 50/50 draw.
Nurses from the breast health project were available to talk with and provided education and the importance of early detection and breast health.
All the money that was raised stays within the prairie region and go towards research and community projects.
Trish Bronsch, CEO of the CBCF for the Prairies/NWT region was pleased with the support shown during the Stampede.
“On June 29 the stands at the Stampede were a sea of pink. This demonstration of support for our Foundation and the breast cancer cause was truly amazing,” said Bronsch in a press release. “Communities like Ponoka, who show their support by volunteering, donating, sponsoring or even attending the events are the cornerstones of the Foundation’s success.”
TETWP started as the idea of a breast cancer survivor, Terry Wheatley, and in 2004 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, the first Pink Night began, according their website. All but two of the contestants showed off their pink colours and many of the spectators showed their support by wearing pink.
The event was overwhelmingly supported by the rodeo industry and became known as TETWP. Since then the event has made its way across North America to over 100 rodeo committees in the United States. In Canada pink events have been seen at the Cloverdale Stampede, Strathmore Rodeo, some smaller rodeos, some World Professional Chuckwagon events and, of course, the Ponoka Stampede.
According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and one in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
In 2007 approximately 22,300 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 lost their battle with it.
The good news is that breast cancer mortality rates have descended by 25 per cent since 1986 and breast cancer rates have lessened since 1999 and the five year relative survival rate is 86 per cent.
Living a healthy lifestyle and continued checking are the best defenses against breast cancer.
Eating five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables each day, reducing your daily intake of fat, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is also important for breast health.