Who's tough enough to wear pink?

If anyone is tough enough to wear pink, it has to be a bull rider.

There will be bull riders wearing pink April 13, the first night of the Rochester Bull Riding Challenge and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink? program. Now the challenge is for fans to also wear pink.

"We try to get as many people into the rodeo wearing pink as we can," said Pam Mickelson, of Rochester, who has organized the Tough Enough to Wear Pink? event the past three years.

At last year's Bull Riding Challenge, Tough Enough to Wear Pink? night raised $3,500 for breast cancer awareness.

"We had 700 people come in wearing pink," Mickelson said. Every dollar raised goes to Rochester-based Join the Journey, which is "all about bringing awareness to the community," Mickelson said. "They help people on their breast cancer journey."


This is how Tough Enough to Wear Pink? works: For every person who shows up at the Bull Riding Challenge wearing pink, $3 will be donated by local sponsors to Join the Journey. In addition, pink T-shirts, stickers, bracelets and other items will be for sale, with all proceeds going to Join the Journey.

Mickelson started Tough Enough to Wear Pink? night at the Bull Riding Challenge three years ago.

"I'm from Montana," she said, "and they do it at the county fair rodeo every year. I got in touch with Matt Forss, to bring the Bull Riding Challenge to Rochester, and he said, 'Let's do it.'"

Mickelson was inspired by her sister, who had breast cancer six years ago.

The capacity of Graham Arena for the Bull Riding Challenge is 2,000 people. "It would be nice to see 1,000 wearing pink this year — half that place wearing pink," Mickelson said.

"In the last couple of years, a lot of the bull riders come in wearing pink," she said. That includes rider Matt Braden, of Sioux Falls, S.D. "Hopefully he's coming in this year," Mickelson said. "He rides for breast cancer awareness. Even his chaps are pink."

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