Our Inspiration

Are You Tough Enough to Wear Pink?" was first asked during the 2006 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals. Rodeo participants and sponsors were asked to raise money for breast cancer research and the year's efforts were realized when a $1 million check was presented to TETWP founder Terry Wheatley. It was with this inspiration in 2007 that breast cancers survivors June Mumme, Pat Sisbarro, Magellia Boston and Laura Conniff collaborated with New Mexico State University to create an NCAA college football version of the Wrangler rodeo event. With players, coaches and fans adorned in pink, $225,000 (cash and in-kind contributions) was presented to the Cowboys for Cancer Research committee during halftime of the first “TETWP” NMSU football game. Since then more than $3.5 million (cash and in-kind contributions) have been presented to C4CR and the “NMSU Aggies Are Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign has become the largest event of its kind in the world!

Our Mission

NMSU Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a volunteer group dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness and raising funds on behalf of Cowboys for Cancer Research, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in Las Cruces, NM. 

Modeled after the famous “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” rodeo events sponsored by Wrangler, our event is now in its 9th year. With institutional support from New Mexico State University, our annual “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” college football game has become part of the local culture here in Las Cruces.  And with the financial support of Memorial Medical, MountainView Regional Medical Center, the Las Cruces Sun News and 100s of local businesses and organizations, more than $3.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions have been presented to Cowboys for Cancer Research, since 2007. 

100% of the cash funds we raise remain here in New Mexico. After minimal operational expenses, cash gifts are made available to cancer researchers at New Mexico State University and at the UNM Cancer Center. The balance of the annual cash generated is invested in endowment funds at the New Mexico State University Foundation and UNM Cancer Center.

We’re proud to help support the collaborative research work of Drs. Jeffrey B. Arterburn of New Mexico State University and Eric R. Prossnitz of the University of New Mexico. Breakthrough discoveries in the work of Drs. Arterburn and Prossnitz and their teams have been internationally recognized in the fight against human cancers and other diseases.

We’re also proud to recognized as the #1 “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” event in the world!

Our Events

NMSU Football: Since 2007, the annual “Pink” game has become a southern New Mexico tradition.  From pre-game tailgaters to students and fans to the NMSU Pride marching band, Aggie Crimson steps aside and pink becomes an unofficial school color for the day.  At halftime, before we make our check presentation to Cowboys for Cancer Research, the PA announcer asks for a moment of silence as victims are remembered and survivors are celebrated.  Then the crowd erupts in to cheers as the check is presented and another year’s work is done …. But the fight goes on!

Fashion Show Luncheon: In what has become a signature event, we transform NMSU’s Pan American Center from a basketball arena to a pink fashion center.  With tables set and centerpieces in place, more than 900 women (and a few men) watch models and breast cancer survivors strut their stuff in the latest fashions and accessories. 

Shop for the Cure: Everyone loves to shop!  And before the Fashion Show Luncheon local retailers, salons and service groups line the concourse of the NMSU Pan American Center with arts, crafts, goods, services and much more.  

5k/10K Fun Run & Walk: Saturday, begins with more than 700 participants ranging from infants in strollers to seniors in wheel chairs, walking and running in memory of loved ones and survivors.

Luminaria Lighting: Luminarias are a New Mexico tradition and every year NMSU coordinates a special event where candle glow at dusk remembers friends and family members who have passed.

Sponsor Gala & Silent Auction: The best party of the year in Las Cruces is our formal event to recognize and thank our major contributors.  Gourmet fare is served, glasses are raised and our guests enjoy a silent auction filled with art, jewelry donated by local merchants.

Would you like to plan an event? Click here for more information.