Owners, trainers, jockeys, track personnel, and racingfans came together on May 9 to help raise $44,100 for Rein in Cancer and Ally's House - two Oklahoma-based organizations dedicated to helping those dealing with cancer. Tough Enough to Wear Pink-Betting on a Cure, which raised $32,700 at its inaugural event in 2009, is a joint effort between Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association and Remington Park in Oklahoma City.
"Knowing firsthand that a number of horse owners, trainers and personnel have had to endure cancer treatment either themselves or as a supportive loved one is an inspiration to all of us at Remington Park," said Scott Wells, Remington Park's President and General Manager. "Tough Enough to Wear Pink is our way of bringing awareness to and raising funds for two dynamic local organizations that exist with the sole purpose to support cancer patients and their families."
It was a sea of pink at the Mother's Day event from track employees to race fans to even the stable ponies decked out in the color that symbolizes breast cancer awareness. To help raise funds for the charities, racehorse owners donated a percentage of their purses and made pledges while everyone arriving at Remington Park had the opportunity to purchase commemorative T-shirts, lapel pins and bracelets, all sporting specially-designed Tough Enough to Wear Pink artwork. In the suites area of the track, event attendees had the opportunity to bid on items in the live and silent auctions.
The highlight of the evening was the Merial Oklahoma Distaff Challenge, which was billed as the "Survivor's Race." All of the jockeys in the race wore hot pink silks to show their support. Cancer survivors at the racetrack were invited to the winner's circle to have a commemorative photograph taken with the race winning filly, Rarely Makes It Home.
The $44,100 raised from the event will be contributed equally to Rein in Cancer and Ally's House. "It was inspirational seeing such a wonderful turn out for the event. We can't thank everyone enough for generously bidding and donating to help us in our fight against cancer," said University of Oklahoma Cancer Institute Clinical Operations Director Tracie Anderson, MS.
An equine-industry group, Rein in Cancer was created by Anderson along with Shorty Koger and Cheryl Magoteaux in 2007 to recognize the willingness of the horse community to help with the fight against cancer. It has raised thousands upon thousands of dollars to support care for cancer patients, help fund treatment and contribute to the Shirley Bowman wing at the OU Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.
For information on Rein in Cancer, visit the website at www.reinincancer.com.
Ally's House is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance with expenses such as prescriptions, medical bills, housing payments, bills, transportation costs, food and clothing, and other needs of families of children with cancer. Ally's House is named in memory of Allison Webb, the daughter of original Toby Keith band member Scott Webb. Ally died at age 2 after losing a battle with kidney cancer.
To learn more about Ally's House, visit the organization's website at www.allyshouse.net.