CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – The Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign is the strongest of its kind in the country.
The local organization is closing in on $2 million in earnings, and its biggest fundraiser of the year will take place next week with the TETWP Songwriter Concert and Auction, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mountaineer Square Conference Center in Crested Butte.
“This is a fun night to celebrate Tough Enough to Wear Pink,” said Heidi Sherratt Bogart, executive director of Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink. “It is also a very important night for our local organization.
“This is a great way to enjoy some great music and help support local breast cancer patients. We’ve spent almost $1 million for Gunnison Valley Hospital over the years, and we are about to purchase a 3D tomosynthesis machine, which is a higher-level mammogram for those who need better imaging technology due to breast density.”
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.
What might be just as impressive is that Gunnison Valley Health is teaming with Radiology Imaging Associates to provide reads in Gunnison valley. No other rural hospital in Colorado has access to a team of radiology specialists like RIA.
“This is the most money we’ve spent as far as Gunnison Valley Hospital,” Sherratt Bogart said.
And the giving will continue, thanks to those who support the campaign. One of the biggest is accomplished songwriter Dean Dillon, who is one of the Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink board members. He will be the headliner of all the songwriters that are part of the concert and auction and will be joined by his daughter, Song Dillon, Trent Willmon and Liz Rose.
The main factor in all the events that are part of Tough Enough to Wear Pink is to raise money that will be used in the Gunnison valley.
“We are extremely proud of what we’ve been able to do right here,” Sherratt Bogart said. “This is a grass-roots, volunteer organization, and the people of this community have been absolutely incredible to help us accomplish some amazing goals in our small, rural town.”
The funds have been beneficial to so many. This past winter, with financial assistance from TETWP, the hospital hired Betsy Welsh, an oncology nurse navigator. Welsh works directly with patients and assists them with many aspects of their treatment: explaining medications, assisting with nutrition and coordinating necessary services.
One of the newest Tough Enough to Wear Pink programs is “Make it a Great Day!,” which helps local residents who are diagnosed with breast cancer by providing them coupons that enables them to use the integrative therapy services of the WellBeing Connection.
“One of our volunteers, Edie Gibson, was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured a double mastectomy,” Sherratt Bogart said. “We wanted to honor her, so we created this program. Edie always said, “Make it a great day” on her voicemail and emails, and we believe in sending this very positive message to the community.”
TETWP pledged $3,600 to kick-start the program. WellBeing Connection, which runs in conjunction with the hospital, consists of practitioners, teachers, physicians, nurses, therapists, acupuncturists, nutritionists, counselors, pastors, intuitives, coaches, trainers, artists, dancers, green builders, adventure guides and other caregivers that have come together to help the awareness of the array of well-being support in the area.
“Many of these therapies have been proven to help cancer patients stay strong mentally and physically while they are going through surgeries and treatments,” Sherratt Bogart said. “I love that it’s another form of care we can provide to cancer patients in the Gunnison valley.”