2016 Rancheros Visitadores Ride
to Support Breast Cancer Awareness and Programs
May 7, 2015 - 3:30 pm
Solvang to Mission Santa Ines
|For the fifth year in a row, the Rancheros Visitadores have chosen to partner with Wrangler Jeans and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Foundation to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer patients throughout Santa Barbara County. This event marks the 85th ride for the Rancheros that begins each year with a festive parade through the streets of Solvang to Mission Santa Ines.|
A parade of 700 cowboys on horseback and carriages will occur along Alisal Road. Through the Rancheros’ efforts, over $280,000 has been contributed to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic since 2012, and an additional $130,000 has been raised through the 2015 ride. 100% of the proceeds help local breast cancer patients at the Cancer Center including: clinical research trials, wellness classes and support programs, hereditary cancer risk counseling, nurse navigation, and lymphedema education and screening. These services are available to all breast cancer patients who reside in Santa Barbara County regardless of where they receive treatment or their ability to pay. Those who support the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer are encouraged to save the date for this inspirational event.
“The Rancheros have been returning to Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez Valley for 85 years. Though our members come from far and wide, this is the Rancheros’ home, and we have found a cause we believe in. We understand it is important to give back to the community we return to year after year,” explains Ranchero Steve Beneto. “Our goal was to raise $100,000 again this year, and we’ve surpassed it. The response to our appeal has been fantastic as we continue our support of the Cancer Center and their excellent care of breast cancer patients and their families.”
“We are honored by the Rancheros’ outstanding support since 2012,” said Rob Dunton, Director of Philanthropy at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic. “The river of pink shirts was a delightful surprise the first time they decided to partner with the Tough Enough To Wear Pink group back in 2012. Each year since, more and more onlookers are wearing pink also – it is a vibrant, powerful, emotional experience. We are indebted to the Rancheros for their part in ensuring all aspects of our patient’s physical, mental and psychological needs are tended to throughout treatment, recovery and survivorship, all while doing our part to help find a cure.”
Within a mile of Rancheros’ parade route resides the Cancer Center’s Solvang office (2040 Viborg Rd #140, Solvang). This busy office has recently expanded to accommodate a 70% increase in cancer patients since the Cancer Center partnered with Sansum Clinic. This office cared for over 1,000 cancer patients in 2014, and reflects the rural community in which it is situated and is decorated with handsome photographs taken from around the valley, and home to a equestrian bronze donated by the Rancheros Visitadores in 2014. The sculpture, entitled Victory Ride by Joni Perry (sister of Ranchero Tom Perry), has a powerful cancer story behind it. The bronze shows three young girls blissfully enjoying a horseback ride, each a likeness of Joni’s three granddaughters. Joni was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, was re-diagnosed in 2005 (stage IV), and eventually succumbed to cancer in 2012. Joni dedicated Victory Ride to her mother, brother and sister-in-law who were all battling cancer at the same time. “My hope is that it can be as encouraging to others as it has been to me in sculpting it,” expressed Joni before her passing. While Ms. Perry’s bronze inspires those in the waiting room of the Cancer Center’s Solvang office, the Rancheros Tough Enough to Wear Pink provides hope and inspiration to thousands each year.