Who’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink?
Breast cancer has been a leading harbinger of grief, pain, and fear for centuries, with roughly 264,000 cases diagnosed in the United States each year. But the Western industry, known for its valiance and bravery in the face of hardship, is fighting back.
Leading the charge is Tough Enough to Wear Pink, a Western nonprofit dedicated to rallying the rodeo and Western communities against breast cancer by providing a framework for organizers to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for those fighting it.
Begun by Western wine-label owner and breast cancer survivor Terry Wheatley and former Wrangler director of special events and PRCA commissioner Karl Stressman, Tough Enough to Wear Pink was sparked by a desire to bring the wealth of resources within the Western industry together for a cause that affects nearly everyone in some way.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer herself — the third woman in her family to receive that diagnosis — Wheatley had had enough of standing on the sidelines of the fight. A rodeo mother and Western vendor, Wheatley was looking forward to making it to the 2004 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and realized it was the perfect opportunity to get the full power of the Western industry behind the fight. But the question was … were the finalists of the 2004 NFR, a notoriously rough-and-tumble bunch, tough enough to wear pink?
As word got around about Wheatley’s pursuit of pink, Karl Stressman, then a Wrangler employee, couldn’t help but get invested. When Wheatley requested pink rodeo shirts, Stressman had Wrangler expedite an order from its 2005 line to disperse among the 2004 NFR finalists. With the help of PRCA’s media team, Wheatley and Stressman got all the rodeo stars on board. Come NFR opening-ceremony time, the stadium was a sea of pink, kicking off the revolution of breast cancer awareness within the Western industry.
The Tough Enough to Wear Pink shoe collection is currently available on Twisted X’s website as well as at shoe stores and Western vendors. To find more information on the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Counseling Center, head to Wise County Clinics’ website. To learn about how to further support the Tough Enough to Wear Pink movement, check out its official website and social media.