Delaware News

‘Chicks N’ Chaps’ supports breast cancer survivors

Loni Nannini Special for the Arizona Daily Star

For the 10th year in a row, a women’s group is lassoing support for local breast cancer initiatives through a fundraising clinic/rodeo in conjunction with La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo.

The event, presented by Chicks N’ Chaps of Tucson, raised nearly $80,000 for the Arizona Oncology Foundation.

“Like Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Chicks N’ Chaps is uniquely Tucson. If you’re not into the sport of rodeo or the western lifestyle, it can be difficult to get a view behind the falls. It’s basically a VIP experience where you go behind the scenes with bronc riders, bull riders, barrel riders and other professionals while raising money for a good cause,” Courtney said. Slanaker, event chair for Chicks N’ Chaps.

Attendees can also expect informative presentations about the rodeo athletes – animal and human – and the rodeo veterinary team.

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“Animals are athletes and they are treated as such. They have vets, trainers, and massage therapists. They’re as critical as human athletes, and it’s an intimate look at how they’re treated,” said Slanaker, a Tucson native who has owned horses throughout her life.

The event also includes a fashion show featuring cancer survivors modeling western clothing by Boot Barn, a champagne brunch by Texas Roadhouse, and a “Many Shades of Pink” presentation that highlights inspiring personal stories of survivors. breast cancer.

“I like this event because we are all volunteers and all the money we raise goes directly to the patients. I don’t think there are many nonprofits that can say that. We knew early on that we wanted to make sure the money would help men and women with breast cancer and we get a full account of our dollars from the Oncology Foundation of Arizona every year,” said Debbie Barnett, who was president of Tucson Rodeo when Chicks N’ Chaps started 10 years ago and remains the link between rodeo and the nonprofit.

Non-medical services and patient care provided through the Oncology Foundation of Arizona include several categories of support: integrative therapy treatments, including acupuncture, massage, reiki, drainage manual lymphatic and more; patient and family support groups; and financial assistance during treatment. Programs also include oncology nutrition, yoga and more. The organization also offers a cancer education and lending library through a local resource center at 2625 N Craycroft Road, Suite 215. All assistance and support is free to patrons.

Last year, Chicks N’ Chaps raised a record $21,000 to support these services, Barnett said.

Real-time assistance resulted in 595 gas cards, 504 patients served through support groups, 460 integrative therapy treatments, 131 free wigs and headwear, 60 post-mastectomy bras , 53 post-mastectomy prostheses, 56 monthly housekeeping services, 29 nutritional counseling sessions and accommodations for 13 out-of-town patients.

“We provide breast cancer patients with services that they usually can’t get anywhere else and that support them emotionally through the process. We have women who come here in tears and by the time they leave they are laughing and having a good time: we provide the services they need to uplift them and make them feel better about themselves as they struggle with cancer,” said Wendy Capullo, chief operating officer of the Arizona Oncology Foundation.

Capullo said she is grateful for donations of all sizes from individuals, businesses and other organizations, which she says are essential to the functioning of the foundation.

“All of our services are free, and that’s only down to the generosity of the community and organizations like Chicks N’ Chaps. This is how we keep our doors open,” Capullo said.

The exposure offered by Chicks N’ Chaps is an added benefit, according to Capullo, who understands the importance of educating the foundation to diverse audiences.

For their part, Slanaker and Barnett see Chicks N’ Chaps as a win-win for breast cancer patients and debunking misconceptions about rodeo while promoting its rich 98-year history in Tucson. .

“Without Tucson Rodeo, our event would not be possible. For the past 10 years, they’ve been a great partner in making the rodeo pink in Tucson,” Slanaker said.

With more than 220,000 women in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer each year, it’s important for everyone to educate themselves.

Contact freelance writer Loni Nannini at


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