Owners, trainers, jockeys, track personnel and racing fans will all team up to raise money to benefit Rein in Cancer and Ally's House - two Oklahoma-based organizations dedicated to helping those dealing with cancer - from 5:10 to 10 p.m. May 9 at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.
The event's sponsors and volunteers will raise money by selling T-shirts, lapel pins and bracelets, all sporting specially-designed Tough Enough to Wear Pink artwork, and racetrack attendees can also bid on donated items in a Silent Auction in the Eclipse Room to help the cause.
A special race for fillies and mares will also highlight the evening. The Oklahoma Merial Distaff Challenge Stakes will feature 10 of the fastest females in the sport, all decked out in hot pink in recognition of the cause. The pink silks worn by the jockeys will be auctioned following the race.
Plus, any cancer survivor attending the night's races will be invited to the winners circle for a group photo to commemorate this very special day. After the photo, those special guests will be invited to a reception upstairs in the Eclipse Room.
Many racehorse owners have also joined the cause and have agreed to donate a percentage of their purse money.
Funds raised from the event will be contributed partly to Rein in Cancer, an equine-industry group created to recognize the willingness of the horse community to help with this cause. Since its inception in 2007, Rein in Cancer has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for supporting care for cancer patients, helping to fund treatment and contributing to the Shirley Bowman wing at the OU Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.
The group was started by good friends Shorty Koger, owner of Shorty's Caboy Hattery in Oklahoma City, Cheryl Magoteaux, owner of Pro Management Inc. of Byars, Oklahoma, and Tracie Anderson of OU Cancer Institute.
"If you or a member of your family or someone you love has been challenged by this disease, you know how important this fight is," Magoteaux said. "Rein in Cancer exists to honor those who have fought or are still fighting this disease, and to help by funding special projects."
For information on Rein in Cancer, visit the website at www.reinincancer.com.
Equally benefiting from the fundraiser is Ally's House, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance with expenses such as prescriptions & medical bills, housing payments, utility bills, transportation costs, food and clothing, overdue bills, 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.
"Ally fought her cancer about a year, and she wanted at least one parent with her all the time and Scott and Linda both work," Keith said, explaining the inspiration behind Ally's House. "A year is a long time to juggle that kind of life and that's what happens time and again. Family needs vary from medical and pharmacy bills to rent and utility payments. They also have expenses for lodging, food, health insurance premiums or deductibles, and travel costs. Ally's House helps pay different bills based on what that family needs."
To learn more about Ally's House, visit the organization's website at www.allyshouse.net.
For more information about the "Tough Enough To Wear Pink-Betting on a Cure" event at Remington Park, visit the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association's website at www.oqhra.com. The "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" event originated during the 2006 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and that year resulted in a donation of $1 million for breast cancer research. For more information about the effort or its founder, visit www.toughenoughtowearpink.com.