A major fundraiser of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) held in Springfield on Friday has ties to Newton County.

SPRINGFIELD — A major fundraiser of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) held in Springfield on Friday has ties to Newton County.

This year’s event, Hooked on Dance: The Crusade for Hope, was held at the University Plaza Convention Center and included a buffet-style dinner, drinks, live auction and music.

“The Newton-Jasper county area is our second largest service area, second only to Springfield,” said Crystal Webster, executive director of BCFO.

“Last year, there was more than $112,000 provided in direct financial services (to the four states area). This includes only the direct payments made on behalf of clients, it doesn’t include value of the nursing services or any other intangible items.”

Friday’s fundraiser was expected to draw about 1,000 people.

“It was certainly a sell-out crowd, I think that we had 14 empty seats in a room of about 1,000,” she said. “It is the most financially successful event that raises money for BCFO. It was a record turnout with record success.”

The event raised $632,000, which included the live auction and sponsorships.

“Sometimes people hear that and get blown away by the number,” Webster said. “But what needs to be considered is that each patient under our care literally receives thousands of dollars in assistance on average. So it takes quite a bit to truly fulfill the mission of reducing the financial burden of this disease.”
Plans for next year’s event are already under way.

“We like the iconic movie theme,” Webster said. “This year, ‘Indiana Jones and the Crusade for Hope’ was the theme. Stay tuned for next year because it is ‘Havana Nights.’ We are thinking white tuxedos, long dresses.”

About BCFO

The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks is a resource for individuals and families in Southwest Missouri who are impacted by breast cancer.

Some services that BCFO provides include:

• short-term, non-medical financial assistance to residents of Southwest Missouri and the Four States/Joplin area who are in current treatment for breast cancer with a demonstrated financial need;
• assistance to children of families impacted by breast cancer through the Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly Family Children’s Fund;

• free screening mammograms to the uninsured and underinsured through qualified medical centers throughout Southwest Missouri;

• survivor support groups and mentoring program to provide emotional support to those diagnosed with breast cancer;

• lymphedema garments for the uninsured and under-insured;

• educational programs to local businesses, civic organizations and community groups.

By the numbers

• In 2011, BCFO spent 82 percent of every dollar on programs and services;

• Since inception, BCFO has provided financial assistance to more than 1,100 families with a member in treatment for breast cancer;

• BCFO has paid more than $1 million in rent and mortgage payments alone.