Campaign to Raise Funds and Awareness for Breast Cancer Research Reaches $7.5 Million Mark
Napa Valley, Calif. (December 9, 2009) – Tough Enough To Wear Pink(TM) (TETWP), the grassroots cowboy campaign to fight breast cancer, celebrated its fifth anniversary tonight at the signature Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (Wrangler NFR) in Las Vegas. While pink is not typically associated with rough-and-tumble rodeo cowboys, the support of the western industry and rodeo fans was unmistakable as the sold-out crowd sported pink shirts, hats, bracelets and more.
Through the combined efforts of hundreds of volunteers and regional rodeos across the U.S. and Canada, TETWP has raised $7.5 million since its inception in 2004. The money raised benefits local breast cancer charities and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which funds breast cancer research projects internationally.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink was created five years ago when Terry Wheatley teamed up with former director of special events at Wrangler, Karl Stressman (now commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association) and issued a challenge: wear the color pink during competition at the Wrangler NFR. The idea was to bring attention to the need for breast cancer early detection and a cure. The industry rose to the challenge as cowboys filled the arena with the symbolic color. Inspired rodeo fans began asking how they could put on TETWP events at their own hometown rodeos, and the grassroots fundraising took off, one rodeo at a time.
The program is sponsored by Wrangler and Terry, Katie and Lacey Wheatley help rodeos and other non-rodeo organizations create the pink-themed fundraisers across the country.
TETWP was founded in 2004 by Terry Wheatley, a California businesswoman who owns and operates Canopy Management, the Napa Valley wine company she started in 2008. One of the wines, Purple Cowboy, has been designated the official wine of TETWP, with a buck donated for every case sold (up to $50,000).
“As founder of both TETWP and a wine company, I wanted to find a way that my company could help support the cause. We are donating a dollar a case and supporting TETWP events with wine whenever we can,” said Wheatley, a breast cancer survivor who is also a rodeo wife and mom.
Purple Cowboy wines include Tenacious Red, a Cabernet/Merlot blend and Night Rider Merlot, both from the cowboy wine country appellation of Paso Robles. The wines are featured at Las Vegas resorts and casinos, and poured at a number of Wrangler National Final Rodeo events, including the George Strait Golf Tournament and the annual ProRodeo Women’s Luncheon.
Visit www.purplecowboy.com to find out more about Purple Cowboy wines and check the blog for George Strait’s very own chili recipe. Purple Cowboy wines are available where wine is sold nationally and at www.winesisterhood.com.