7th-annual pink rodeo to benefit cancer research center

By The Mercury

The Kaw Valley Rodeo Association wants you to be tough enough to wear pink.

The association will have its seventh annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink rodeo Friday, July 26, to raise awareness of breast cancer and other cancers and support Kansas State University’s Johnson Cancer Research Center.

In conjunction with the Riley County Fair, the Kaw Valley Rodeo will be at 8 p.m. July 25-27 at Wells Arena in CiCo Park, Manhattan.

“We want rodeo fans to pack the arena with pink that night,” said Dr. Gene Klingler, a local physician, rodeo association member and “pink committee” chair.

Spectators are encouraged to wear pink, and a pink balloon launch will honor cancer survivors during the grand entry. Pink T-shirts, bandanas and more will available for purchase, with all proceeds going to the cancer research center.

“The pink rodeo is touching and exciting, and a huge undertaking. We thank the rodeo association, sponsors and volunteers for putting it on, as well as all the spectators who support it,” said Rob Denell, director of the center.

A benefit spaghetti dinner is also planned for 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at the First Presbyterian Church, 801 Leavenworth St. Tickets for the all-you-can-eat dinner, which is prepared by Chef Drew Zink - the former owner of Gilio’s - and volunteers, are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. They are available from the center, 785-532-6705.

The Johnson Cancer Research Center supports cancer research at Kansas State University and helps train future scientists. Its programs are made possible by private donations. More information about the center is at

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