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Roundup gets Tough for local organization
DODGE CITY, Kan. – Mary Trotter’s recent heart surgery did nothing to diminish her support for the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign that works alongside the annual Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
In fact, the procedure might have stoked a bigger fire for Trotter’s passion for the Circle of Hope, a Dodge City organization that gives back to cancer patients and their families; it is the beneficiary of the rodeo’s Pink Night fund-raiser. Roundup Rodeo is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1-Sunday, Aug. 5, and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4.
“It’s pretty important to me because what we do goes right into the community,” she said. “The Circle of Hope had no funding before this, and they’re able to help people with groceries, transportation, rent … just about anything they might need. We just got a web page up, but before that, all the information about the Circle of Hope was just word of mouth.”
Now that the word is getting out, people are learning more about the organization, a self-help non-profit group for cancer patients and their caregivers.
“The support group was formed by Jack and Jane Dalton and Ray and Pat Shrader of Dodge City,” reads a statement on the site, www.circleofhopedodgecity.com. “Both Jane and Pat were diagnosed as having cancer at approximately the same time in 1992. Being very proactive in seeing that they would receive the best treatment available, the best oncologists associated with each ones type of cancer, and the best care during their time of recovery, they were determined to fight their cancer with a passion and see that everything was being done to give them the opportunity to survive this dreaded disease.”
The Circle of Hope provides financial assistance, resource information, sharing and caring group meetings and free mammograms for women ages 35-64 that have no insurance or might have a high premium. The group also encourages early detection and prevention programs.
Over the last six years, Roundup Rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign has raised more than $126,000 for the Circle of Hope.
“It’s kept that pace since we started,” Trotter said. “This thing just keeps going and going, and we’ve had other things hop on the bandwagon. The local Knights of Columbus got ahold of us so they could have a fund-raising breakfast for Tough Enough, and they’re looking to do a horseshoe pitching contest to raise money for Tough Enough.
“We have sponsors who give, and we pass the pink hats for four nights of the rodeo. We also sell pink products – we have some cool new clothes this year – and all the proceeds go to the Circle of hope.”
While fans, contestants, personnel and the arena will be decked out on Saturday night, there are plenty of opportunities to give beyond that particular night.
“We will pass the hat Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with Saturday being that grand finale,” Trotter said. “We will be at the parade, at the barbecue and at our booth at the rodeo. We’re just trying to raise as much money for them as we can.”
To that end, anyone can give at any time, but it’s quite a site to see the rodeo arena “pinked out.” For those who wish, they can also donate through the Circle of Hope’s website.
“I think our Tough Enough fund-raising going to the Circle of Hope is important to the people here because it’s local,” Trotter said. “Some groups send their stuff off to other organizations, but ours just keeps going in the community. Before Tough Enough, Roundup didn’t have that much to give back to the community other than entertainment and the rodeo.
“I think that has a lot to do with it. People are proud to give locally. We had a farmer from Sublette who wanted to be a sponsor for Tough Enough. I don’t know whether he had cancer in the family or what, but he just takes care of it out there. It’s interesting when it takes off and keeps evolving.”