Tribune Staff Writer
An odd phenomenon happens at the World Famous Williams Lake Stampede on Sunday, June 30.
Cowboys, cowgirls, announcers, board directors, clowns and hopefully the audience will be wearing one colour: pink.
Sunday is Tough Enough to Wear Pink day at the Williams Lake Stampede and $1 from every ticket sold will be split evenly between two local recipients. Half will be donated to the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust for the purchase of a digital mammogram machine and half will be donated to Jay Smith, a lakecity logger.
Smith was diagnosed February 2012 with squamous-cell skin cancer in his neck.
Since Smith was diagnosed, he has undergone three chemotherapy sessions and 35 radiation treatments. Because of the cancer, he has also been unable to work throughout that time.
The money Smith will receive from the Stampede Association will go towards his next trip to Vancouver for a PET scan, which will determine if all of his treatments have been fully successful.
Smith says he is thankful to receive the donation.
“I can’t really say it’s an honour, because it’s not an honour to have cancer. It’s something you do not want to have,” he said. “It’s just a great thanks and the community is awesome.”
For now Smith is making a recovery and is finally able to return to work.
To others who have cancer he said, “You can do it. You just have to have a positive attitude and go at it just like the rodeo. You gotta have fun.”
The other 50 per cent of the money will be going towards the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust for the purchase of a digital mammogram machine.
Carol Ann Taphorn, the chairman of the organization, says the machine is needed to allow those who go for mammograms to get their results instantly.
“When you have breast cancer it is very important to get that immediate reaction so that you can start whatever program you need to go into immediately,” she said.
The Cariboo Foundation helped buy the original mammogram unit that the Cariboo Memorial Hospital currently uses. They are looking to fundraise $600,000 for the new $1 million machine. “We are a little over halfway,” Taphorn said.
The regional district will contribute the other $400,000 needed to buy the new unit.
“Every year as a board we try and come up with somebody new,” said Sherry Bullock, an executive member for the Williams Lake Stampede Association.
The association tries to spread the money around the community every year by donating to different causes and people.
She encourages everyone to come out to the 12:45 p.m. Sunday performance at Stampede Grounds. “The more people that come out the bigger the pot, and we’re here to help out,” she said.
And, don’t forget, wear pink.