Las Vegas, Nev., December 13 -- On December 12, the western industry proudly answered the question "Are you Tough Enough to Wear Pink?" with unprecedented enthusiasm. Over the past year, the esteemed Tough Enough to Wear Pink™ (TETWP) initiative once again inspired cowboys, cowgirls, retailers, manufacturers and rodeos nationwide to raise awareness and a record-breaking amount of money for breast cancer research. At the 49th annual Wrangler® National Finals Rodeo--in an arena saturated in pink--the year's efforts were celebrated as Wrangler presented a check for $2.5 million on behalf of the entire industry to TETWP.
Accepted by TETWP founder and breast cancer survivor Terry Wheatley, the check--more than double the funds raised in 2006--represents the combined year-long efforts of industry players to raise money in support of research, awareness, education, screening and treatment of breast cancer for the millions of Americans affected by the disease.
With the help of the Wrangler brand, the campaign maintained the resources of dozens of veteran TETWP supporters in 2007 while also extending the roster to new industry sponsors, retailers and campaign advocates. Each year, the initiative continues to spread. In 2007, a record level of participation was generated as more than 250 local rodeos in the U.S. and Canada hosted local TETWP Nights and raised money for their local breast cancer causes.
"Tough Enough to Wear Pink started as such a modest program with the critical goal of fighting a disease that affects us all," said Karl Stressman, director of special events, Wrangler Western Wear. "It is exciting to watch it grow exponentially and to--in one short year--have more than doubled the amount of money raised for so many communities around the country."
When the idea to support the breast cancer research community developed in 2004, the Wrangler brand jumped at the chance to spend the next year rallying the western industry in support of the campaign. Igniting the effort with the creation of a special-edition TETWP pink shirt, the Wrangler brand donated all proceeds to the cause, and rodeo competitors and fans have continued to button up in pink to show their unwavering support.
"The steadfast attention of everyone involved has been remarkable and inspiring," says Wheatley. "We can't thank our supporters enough for proving that not only are they tough enough to wear pink and join the fight--they're tough enough to fight harder with each passing year."
For information on how to help TETWP, visit www.toughenoughtowearpink.com.