“I was treated for breast cancer in 2006,” says Wild Pink Yonder organizer Jane Hurl. “In 2005 my step-daughter died of breast cancer, so you could say we have a double mad-on for it.”
It gave her a mad idea, anyway. WPY is a 22-day trail ride to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of breast cancer research. The route is different every year, and she and her son Rusty (“our only paid employee”) challenge towns along the route to “pinkify.” The process of pinkification involves decorating the town as imaginatively as possible in any colour, so long as it’s pink, and to raise money for the cause.
“Last year the winner was Trochu,” Hurl says. “They raised more than $27,000, with a population of 11,000.” The winner of the Pinkest Town in the West, Trochu earned bragging rights, a beautiful highway road sign declaring their pinkness to all who pass by, and a free concert. “We provide the band and the winning towns can charge what they want, enjoy the party and direct the funds where they want.”
Visit wildpinkyonder.com or call 780-363-0003 to find out this year’s route, where you can see the riders (all of whom are pinkified, along with some of the horses) and make a pledge.