Twisted X Boots, Wrangler®, Montana Silversmiths, American Hat Company, Hooey Brands and others have joined together to designate April as the Western Industry’s month for breast cancer awareness. In time for Mother’s Day gift-giving, each company has created lines of pink merchandise, and a portion of the proceeds of the sales will go to the Tough Enough To Wear Pink organization. TETWP has worked in partnership with the western community for ten years to support families facing the disease. The western community continues to support October as breast cancer awareness month – thereby doubling down the effort in the fight against this disease. It’s just another way for Twisted X and others to emphasize and focus on this terrible disease that affects so many in the western community.
Twisted X has developed a licensed collection of TEWTP boots and footwear. They are asking individuals to submit their story of their journey through this disease to their website: www.twistedxboots.com. From these stories, a survivor’s name will be chosen for each day of April. Each featured name will have their choice of any style they chose from the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Collection. They have also developed a mini pink boot and tote to offer as a gift with purchase during the month of April for these products. All Twisted X April advertising will feature this promotion. Twisted X will continue to support this cause throughout the year by donating a portion of the sale of every pair sold in the TETWP Collection.
Wrangler is the title sponsor of the TETWP™ campaign. Wrangler Western Wear is available at more than 2,500 western specialty, mid-tier and workwear stores nationwide that provide quality men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. For more information regarding the Wrangler family of products or to locate the Wrangler retailer nearest you, visit www.wrangler.com or call 1.888.784.8571.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink Update
December, 2014 marked the 10th Anniversary of Tough Enough to Wear Pink.
“We’re proud to have raised over $20 million since the program began. We are proud of the over 300 rodeos and events that participate each year. We are proud of the western retailers and western manufacturers that participate in the program. And we are proud of the cowboys and cowgirls who have made this campaign their own,” said founderTerry Wheatley.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Wheatley is an entrepreneur, wine industry executive, and wife and mother to professional rodeo competitors.
“We never imagined that, after ten short years we could accomplish so much. The stories we hear throughout the country of how the money raised from local events has gone to help women are heartwarming” commented Wheatley.
Wheatley founded Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink in 2004 with Karl Stressman, former Director of Special events for Wrangler and now Commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
Keeping it in the family…Lacey Wheatley, Terry Wheatley’s daughter-in-law, is the Director of Tough Enough to Wear Pink and coordinates with rodeos and other non-rodeo organizations to create the pink-themed fundraisers.
How it all began.
In 2004, Terry was looking forward to attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas as she had for many years. Her son Wade Wheatley was a consistent WNFR finalist in team roping (header) and her husband Jim had been a six-time WNFR team roping qualifier himself. Terry was a senior executive at a major wine company sponsoring the WNFR telecast.
But Terry had recently undergone breast cancer surgery and, although things looked positive, it was on her mind. She had lost her grandmother to breast cancer, her mother had a double mastectomy before the age of 40 and her daughter Katie had undergone two surgical biopsies before the age of 20.
“It seemed as if everyone I knew was affected” recalls Terry. “I felt a very strong need to somehow take action.”
Terry realized from her own situation that early diagnosis and treatment was key to a successful outcome. She toyed with some ideas to rally the rodeo and western community to get that message across. And then the big one hit. What if, on one night of rodeo’s greatest spectacle, the competitors could be convinced to wear pink shirts? Not a color normally associated with rugged events such as bull riding and steer wrestling, but that was the point. That was how to make a statement. Broadcast on national television, no less. All she had to do was make it happen. In three weeks.
Rodeo world to the rescue.
Finding pink cowboy shirts proved to be the next challenge. Enter Karl Stressman and Wrangler who just happened to have pink shirts in production for the spring, 2005 line. Problem was they weren’t scheduled to be delivered until the new year. With a few strategically placed phone calls, Karl arranged a special rush production of 200 shirts to be air-freighted directly to Las Vegas just in time for the rodeo.
Terry needed to get the challenge out to the cowboys – and fast. The Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) jumped in to help, disseminating information about the pink shirt campaign to the finalists. Son Wade his part too, spreading the world to his fellow cowboys and cowgirls.
“I gladly accepted the challenge in support of my mom, but I sure couldn’t predict what the others would do. After all, it was a pink shirt” explained Wade.
And he might very well have been the only cowboy wearing one that night. Wade wasn’t sure – nobody was – if the world’s toughest cowboys would rally to the cause. Would they be Tough Enough to Wear Pink?
That question was answered once and for all as the competitors and spectators turned the Thomas & Mack Arena into a sea of pink that night. To the thrill of Terry, Karl and everybody who helped make it happen, one after another pink-shirted cowboys and cowgirls galloped into the arena sporting the color of breast cancer awareness. The campaign received national media attention….the rest is history.
Terry Wheatley, a California entrepreneur left her corporate wine career in 2005 to create Canopy Management, a Napa Valley wine company creating, marketing and selling wine under the Wine Sisterhood™ banner. One of Wine Sisterhood’s wines, Purple Cowboy, is the official wine of TETWP, with $1 for every case sold going to the campaign. Purple Cowboy is also the official wine of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.
“As founder of both Tough Enough To Wear Pink and Wine Sisterhood, I wanted to find a way for our wine to help support the cause. We are supporting TETWP events with wine whenever we can,” says Wheatley.
Purple Cowboy wines include Tenacious Red and Trail Boss Cabernet Sauvignon, both from the cowboy wine country appellation of Paso Robles.
Terry sold Canopy Management to Vintage Wine Estates in 2014 and now is the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing – and continues to market wines that support Tough Enough to Wear Pink.