By JimiBeth Myers
Behind the Scenes
Glittering with Gold for a Cause
The Thomas and Mack Arena will be decked out in pink during Round 5 on the Tough Enough to Wear Pink night to show support for breast cancer awareness and research. The folks at Wrangler, who created this initiative, hope that it also serves as a great reminder to check in on your friends and family to make sure they’re staying on top of their breast health with self-exams, doctor visits, and mammograms.
Barrel Racers have been honoring another cause that was started at the WNFR in 2014 during barrel racer Nancy Hunter’s first trip to Las Vegas where she was ranked 4th in the World. She qualified again in 2015, ranked 10th, and in both years she and her horse Fuzz brought awareness to childhood cancer with her horse doned in gold handprints and Nancy wearing gold.
Nancy, a nurse, had four sons. Her son, Kolton, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma when he was 10 years old. Thankfully he is now grown with a family of his own, but the entire Hunter family was ever changed by his cancer fight. Nancy rode in Las Vegas and raised donations that benefitted St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Sadly, Nancy was, herself, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she died of the disease in August of 2016 at the age of 59. The WNFR Barrel Racers have honored Nancy and her cause in 2016, 2017 and now again in 2018 by putting handprints on their horses and wearing Nancy’s color in the arena.
Tracy Nowlin came into the WNFR in 12th place knew Nancy well. “Knowing Nancy, she’d be so proud of us keeping this cause alive. Her son had cancer and it is so heartbreaking. To do this for Nancy is an honor.” She went on to express her disbelief saying, “kid’s cancer is so widespread and with as much knowledge as there is in the world today, it is a wonder that we don’t have a cure yet.”
Lisa Lockhart has led the invitation to the barrel racers to keep Nancy’s fight against cancer alive. She gave the girls handprint stickers that they can put on their horses, which represents the cause for childhood cancer, which was so dear to Nancy’s heart. “Some of us will be wearing gold in honor of Nancy. We are hoping that rodeo fans will give, if they can, to continue the efforts that Nancy started here at the NFR raising donations that benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.”
If you are interested in contributing to the cause, you can give here: