The public is being asked to join the Stampede volunteers this year in wearing red and pink in observing two special rodeo days.
The Stampede runs four days starting today, June 30 through Sunday, July 3.
For the second performance rodeo, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, people are asked to wear red to honour military people serving Canada in various conflicts around the world, says Stampede Association president Fred Thomas.
During the rodeo on Friday night, he says they will be introducing the parents and families of six or seven people in the Williams Lake region who are serving in Canada’s armed forces.
For fourth performance rodeo starting at 1 p.m. Sunday people are asked to wear pink.
This is the Stampede’s traditional Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day to raise funds to fight the global battle against women’s cancers.
For every rodeo ticket sold on Sunday, $1 will go to help victims of cancer.
This year Thomas says the Tough Enough to Wear Pink funds will be split between the Cariboo Companions team which is raising funds for the B.C. Cancer Foundation and for Megan (Fofonoff) Huska, whose mother lost her battle with cancer a few years ago, and is now, as a young mother, just 29 years old, fighting her own battle with breast cancer.
“For a number of years now we’ve really tried to help some of our less fortunate people who have succumbed to cancer,” Fred says. “So we really want to fill the grandstands on Sunday. It is a really worthwhile cause and a way for the Stampede Association and volunteers to give back to the community for people who really need the assistance.”
The Cariboo Companions are a group of 16 lakecity women who are training to participate in the two-day 60-kilometer Shopper’s Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers Aug. 13-14 in Vancouver, which raises funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.
Team member Rose Pinchbeck says thanks to generous donations by individuals, community groups, and businesses, and community support for the team’s fundraising raffles, hot dog sales, and bottle drives the team has been able to raise the initial $2,000 donation required by each of the 16 team members to participate in the walk.
At the moment Pinchbeck says the Cariboo Companions stand about third in the province for team fundraising efforts and the contributions from the Stampede Association are much appreciated. The Cariboo Companions team also has two breast cancer survivors, Taryn Carnes and Sharon MacDonald.
In further efforts in the fight against breast cancer the Stampede Association is also hosting the Pink Tour Bus in the Stampede Grounds from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Tour staff will guide visitors through the interactive displays and encourage women between the ages of 40 and 79 to book a free mammogram in their communities.
For the first time, women who register on the bus will receive calls back from the Screening Mammography program of B.C. to arrange an appointment for their mammogram.
According to the Pink Tour Bus information package only 51 per cent of eligible women in B.C. have a regular mammogram. According to the World Health Organization, if 70 per cent of eligible women went for regular mammography, the number of deaths from breast cancer would be reduced by up to one third.
As further support for Tough Enough to Wear Pink Day, Sunday is also Family Day in which children under 12 can watch the rodeo for free.