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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Jaycees will hold first 'Pink Night' at rodeo

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sikeston Jaycee Brent Barber hangs a Wrangler 'Tought Enough to Wear Pink" banner.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Jaycees can picture it now. Thursday night's rodeo; tough bull riders and skilled cowboys performing for glory, surrounded by thousands of screaming fans wearing ... pink?

That will be the scene at the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo during this year's first "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night.

The Thursday night celebration will be dedicated to raising awareness for breast cancer. The Jaycees are encouraging all performers and attendees to wear pink to show their support.

Raising awareness and showing support for the cause is only a small part of the Jaycees' plan for "Pink Night." Starting this week, the Jaycees will begin fundraising efforts. By the last night of the rodeo, they hope to present the American Cancer Society in Sikeston with a check exceeding $10,000.

"A topic like this touches so many people. Half people that will be at the rodeo probably know or lost someone affected by cancer. We are just trying to do our part to help," said Brent Barber of the Sikeston Jaycees.

"Pink Night" began at the 2005 National Finals Rodeo. This year, the Jaycees are taking full advantage of the event as an opportunity to improve the community and help those in need.

The Jaycees are now selling T-shirts, bracelets and bandanas featuring the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" logo. Also the Jaycees will begin selling raffle tickets this week.

"The raffle started out small, but now we have gathered over $4,000 of merchandise donated by local businesses," said Barber. "We have donations of jewelry, gift certificates and even chiropractic services. The local community has been extremely supportive of the effort."

The "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" merchandise and raffle tickets are available at the rodeo ground's ticket booth, Missouri Delta Medical Center and the Sikeston Outlet Mall. Any active Jaycee can also provide information or raffle tickets, which are priced at $5 a ticket or five tickets for $20.

The bulk of the money raised will most likely come from the ticket sales, said Barber. One dollar of every rodeo ticket sold Thursday night will go directly to the American Cancer Society in Sikeston. With crowds usually numbering around to seven or eight thousand, the Jaycees are very optimistic about the effort.

The American Cancer Society in Sikeston plans to use proceeds to buy wigs, breast prosthesis and nutritional supplements for cancer patients.

"We wanted to make an immediate impact on people's lives," said Barber. "We didn't want to see the money go into a huge general fund and not be able to track it. We wanted to make an instant difference in the lives of people in our community, and this fundraiser will allow that to happen."

The American Cancer Society in Sikeston is thrilled with prospect.

"This is definitely the biggest single donation we will have received since I've been here," said Julie Aycock income specialist at the American Cancer Society in Sikeston. "We serve patients in 16 counties and rely almost solely on donation to provide them with wigs and breast prosthesis. This will be a big boost for us and allow us to offer a better and wider selection for our patients."

Over the next few weeks, the Jaycees and the American Cancer Society will work together to promote the event.

"We will hang up banners and advertise on the radio. Hopefully, by rodeo time, everybody in Sikeston will know about it," said Barber.

This may be the first "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night, but the Jaycees plan on making it a Sikeston rodeo tradition.

"It is a win-win situation. We bring more people to the rodeo and help out a great cause," said Barber. "We don't see any reason why we can't do this every year."

For additional information on "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night, visit sikestonrodeo.com and click on the link to Thursday night's entertainer, Terri Clark.