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Plugging for Ponca Days of '56 - June 23, 1974

"Boozer" Gang Hits SSC - June 27,1974

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June E. Nylen Cancer Center
News Release
September 8 2008

Ponca Rodeo Association raised $1,000 to benefit the June E. Nylen Cancer Center

The Ponca Rodeo Association raised $1,000 to benefit the June E. Nylen Cancer Center when the association hosted “The Days of ’56 PRCA Rodeo” which was held June 27th and 28th, 2008. This was an opportunity for Siouxland residents to enjoy the rodeo, hang out with family and friends while supporting the Cancer Center.

“After my sister and I researched the Wrangler promotion “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”, we realized that cancer touches everyone and it was a wonderful way for our committee and the fans that attend our event to show support” says Lori Arbuthnot, Coordinator of Tough Enough to Wear Pink Committee. “Another thing we liked about the promotion is that all money stays right here in Siouxland.”

“This is the second year that the Ponca Rodeo has chosen the June E. Nylen Cancer Center as a beneficiary,” said Pat Hubbard, Director of Fund Development. “We look forward to a long partnership with the Ponca Rodeo Association.”

Money raised helps support programs such as: Patient Assistance Fund which helps ease the hardship of families who have exhausted their financial resources yet are ineligible for public assistance; and the Community Outreach Support and Education Program which offers classes and programs to the community on reducing, preventing or coping with cancer.

Wrangler, a sponsor of pro rodeo started the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign as way to involve the sport of rodeo by supporting breast cancer awareness and giving back to local communities. The contestants wear pink and the audience is encouraged to as well. Each local rodeo is able to choose their charity. Last year over 1 million dollars was raised nationally by Wrangler’s promotion of this campaign.

For more information call Pat Hubbard at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center 712. 252.9352 or visit the website

Initiative Raises Funds for Cancer Research and Treatment

NEBRASKA - (Sept. 8, 2008) Rodeo fans across Nebraska were asked one question this summer: Are you tough enough to wear pink?  That’s because the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign, a breast cancer awareness and fundraiser program, took place at pro rodeos across the state.  The initiative was designed for the western industry – rodeos, equine events, and the like - to raise awareness of breast cancer and funds for research and treatment. It got its start at the National Finals Rodeo in 2006, when a $1 million check was presented to the breast cancer research community. The NFR, held annually in Las Vegas, is pro rodeo’s world championship event.  Tough Enough to Wear Pink encourages rodeo fans and personnel alike to wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness and research. The unique thing about the “pink” campaign is that rodeo committees can designate how funds are raised and to whom funds are donated. 

At the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings, fairgrounds manager Sandy Himmelberg said that their Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign raised funds for a local cancer center. “It works better for us when rodeo fans know their (donated) money stays in the county.” The rodeo, held over Labor Day, raised $5,400 last year for the Morrison Cancer Center at the Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings. The Hastings rodeo also hosts a 5K Run/Walk entitled “Tough Enough to Run with the Bulls.” Himmelberg said the race had 62 participants this year, with an emotional finish; a woman who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and had just received a mastectomy finished the race. 

In Ponca at the Days of ’56 Rodeo, their pink night is the first night of rodeo in late June, and funds raised go to the June E. Nylen Cancer Center, a local organization. Business manager Chris Bostwick says the event has been well received in the community. “You can’t believe the people who come in (to the rodeo) wearing pink.” The rodeo committee gives 10% of proceeds from its Friday night performance to the Cancer Center, and profits from the sale of pink items, including neckerchiefs, bandanas and caps also go to the Center. The rodeo has given the Center $1,000 each of the past two years, and Bostwick says that the cause has also benefited the rodeo. “It’s helped our Friday night gate (attendance) considerably,” he says. “It’s worked out good for us". 

Pink isn’t a color usually associated with the macho sport of rodeo, but if a cowboy is tough enough to ride a bull, he’s probably tough enough to wear pink. And pink is here to stay in more rodeo wardrobes now than ever. So when you attend a Nebraska rodeo next year, be sure to grab your pink shirt and support the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign.

Days of '56 rodeo attracts record crowds
PSN 7/5/06
by Kristen M. White

The Day of '56 PRCA Rodeo is probably the biggest thing to happen in Ponca, Neb., each year. In a town of about a 1,000 people, the rodeo draws more than twice that many spectators each night.

This year, 38th edition of the rodeo, held June 23-24, was no different. Chairman Chris Bostwick said about 2,100 people attended the Friday performance, and the stands were near its 2,600-person capacity on Saturday.

"We draw from about a 40-mile radius from us," Bostwick said. "It's just something we've promoted and worked on for 38 years, and we keep improving it. It's always nice, clean family entertainment."

For the past several years, the rodeo committee has worked on improvements at the rodeo grounds. The contribution this year was a continuous seven-foot-high steel fence around the arena. Bostwick said he received "a nice compliment" when the contractor, Bob Barnes, and announcer Kelly Kenney, said they've been to a lot of rodeos and the fence was one of the best they'd seen.

The rodeo is accompanied by a parade which featured more than 100 entries this year, as well as special entertainment during the rodeo.

"We have the Arena Race, which is done by a local saddle club," Bostwick said. "They're 10 man teams, and they race against each other in a baton race. It's a real crowd-pleaser in this area, and we've been doing this since 1972.

The number of competitors at the Days of '56 rodeo was up this year, too, Bostwick said. About 250 cowboys and cowgirls visited Ponca, likely the largest attendance in the rodeo's history, he said.

"We like to think it's partly because we started a hospitality room for the cowboys last year," Bostwick said. "A lot of them said they remembered that and came back because the hospitality was so great. And I think the gas thing, being so expensive, I think maybe guys enter more events when they can. I don't really know what draws them here, they just come."