GUNNISON, Colo. – The grassroots effort that is Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign continues to flourish in the Gunnison valley.
This year’s songwriter concert and auction, which took place Tuesday, July 11, raised more than $300,000, helping maintain the Gunnison’s status as the largest Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign in ProRodeo.
“That night was certainly a blessing for us,” Executive Director Heidi Sherratt Bogart said. “We have some very giving people in the Gunnison valley, and they came through for us. It’s because of them we are able to do so much for breast cancer patients in this area.”
Every dollar raised is then utilized within Gunnison County. TETWP just purchased a 3D tomosynthesis machine, which is a higher-level mammogram for those who need better imaging technology due to breast density. It is being installed at Gunnison Valley Hospital this week.
The machine costs $360,000, but the benefits can go a long way. Digital tomosynthesis of the breast is different from a standard mammogram in the way a CT scan of the chest is different than a standard X-ray.
There were about a dozen auction items, and the few hundred people in attendance gave liberally. The biggest-selling item was an off-the-cuff addition from songwriter Dean Dillon, who serves on the TETWP board.
He and two other songwriters – his daughter, Song, and Liz Rose – offered to write a song for the winning bidder. When the bids reached $33,000, Dillon asked the two combatants if they’d both agree to bidding $34,000, he would do two songs. Both agreed. Then a third, anonymous bidder, met that. So the talented musicians will write three songs for the three winners, but the real winner was the Gunnison TETWP campaign, which made $102,000 on that item.
“This is Dean Dillon’s legacy and his vision to be the No. 1 small town breast cancer hospital in the country,” Sherratt Bogart said. “He is passionate about it, which does help get people to open their hearts.”
In the process, this year’s songwriter concert and auction raised more than $300,000, and Gunnison valley breast cancer patients will reap the rewards.