It started as a small benefit in Kamas in 1990 for a woman who was struggling with breast cancer. Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, was on hand at the benefit and said, "You know, this is too good not to pursue."
So Tika Beard masterminded a little larger benefit in 1991 at Pioneer Trail State Park for Holy Cross Breast Care Center. Each year since then, the benefit has snowballed and is now undertaken for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Utah.The 1994 benefit is chaired by Bank One manager Dan Bradshaw and is called "Rhythm & Rhyme Roundup." It will be held at Wheeler Historic Farm, 6351 S. 900 East, on Saturday, June 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The rhythm will come from the local bluegrass band the Cow Daddies. The rhyme will be provided by cowboy poets Dan Bradshaw, Don Kennington and Phil Kennington. The three cowboy poets have been featured at the Elko Cowboy Poetry gathering. The Corner Canyon Cloggers will also perform.
The money generated by the event will all be donated to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Utah. Bradshaw is thrilled that almost all the costs associated with the benefit are being covered by businesses and individuals. "All our printing for posters and tickets was donated by Cenozoic Design. Smith's donated a ton of food for the barbecue, and Majestic Meat is also helping with the meat. The Cow Daddies are donating their time, as are the cowboy poets. Many businesses have bought tickets and we've had great support from the Breast Cancer Coalition. Julie Wenner and Judy Smith have both worked very hard," Bradshaw said.
"I'm involved in this because I have a wife and four daughters," he said. "The Breast Cancer Coalition is becoming a very well-known advocate for women and their families. Breast cancer is a very nonpolitical issue - it's completely indiscriminate in who it strikes. There are 2.6 million women currently living with breast cancer in the United States. Forty-six thousand women die from it each year. We need to understand and hear about breast cancer. I'm not thinking this little benefit is going to cure breast cancer, but it will help make us more aware."
Wenner, of Park City, is a 41/2-year-survivor of breast cancer. "I've been involved in volunteer work ever since I got well, about six months after my surgery," she said. "There are nearly 11,000 women in Utah with breast cancer. If every person could just help one charity, it would make such a difference."
The Rhythm & Rhyme Roundup benefit will also feature a silent auction. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has donated an autographed copy of his biography, and former vice president Dan Quayle has donated a copy of his biography. New York author Joyce Wadler, who wrote the book "My Breast" that was made into the TV movie starring Meredith Baxter, has sent an autographed copy of her book for the silent auction. "I met Joyce at a congressional breakfast along with Meredith Baxter, and when she heard about our benefit, she sent a book right away," said Wenner.
Many handcrafted items have been donated by members of the Breast Cancer Coalition. There will be framed prints and some hand-tooled cowboy boots, donated by Montana Boots, available during the silent auction.
Wenner was concerned that there might be food left over. Tables at Wheeler Farm will be laden with barbecued ribs and chicken, potato and other salads and soft drinks. She contacted St. Vincent de Paul's and sent four tickets to the event. Four St. Vincent's workers will help serve the meals and then take back any food not used.
Tickets to the Rhythm & Rhyme Roundup, at $25 per person, will be available at Wheeler Farm on Saturday evening.