A huge turnout attended Indigo Sky Casino’s second annual Swinging For Pink fundraiser to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO).

A huge turnout attended Indigo Sky Casino’s second annual Swinging For Pink fundraiser to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO).

The day-long event comprised of two activities: A golf tournament in the morning at Patricia Island in Oklahoma and then that evening, a live/silent auction and banquet at the casino.
Regina Hammons, hospitality sales at the casino, noted that more than 300 people attended the dinner part of the event.

“We had 38 teams for the golf tournament,” she said. “We are thrilled to do that for them (BCFO). It is really a big honor to be able to work with them to help raise money for this awareness, because it hits home to a lot of people.”

This year, Hammons told about a friend of hers whose aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Kenya Skaggs is her name, she had breast cancer,” Hammons said. She was going through breast cancer, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that they were going to do a fundraiser for her, I got in touch with her and got her in touch with Kristi and from there, she did the application process, they were able to help her with some of her utilities and help her significantly while she was going through treatment. If I had not done this, then I would not had been able to have the knowledge to pass on that information and get her in touch with the right people. Because before last year, I had no idea what the BCFO was.”

She noted that Skaggs is from Delaware County, Oklahoma.

“That is what we are trying to do here, make awareness more so in the Ottawa, Delaware counties areas because a lot of people don’t know that BCFO is in this area,” she said.

Last year, the fundraiser brought in $45,000 for BCFO. This year’s numbers were not available as of press time. However, during the banquet, Melanie Chase, marketing director of Indigo Sky Casino, gave some great news to Kristi Seibert, outreach director with BCFO.

“BCFO has been great,” said Chase. “What we have done this year, — like we did last year — we are going to do a sponsorship in kind, which totaled $14,000, so BCFO will not be paying that back this year as part of the event.”

Seibert expressed her gratitude.

“Everyone of you here are doing something wonderful and what you are doing is helping us help others that are dealing with this disease to help them,” said Seibert. It is a heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you Melanie, to Regina, to your staff, to the chef, to everybody and to each one of you (pointing to the audience), thank you.”

BCFO executive director Crystal Webster also thanked the casino and the audience.

“The funds raised tonight… helps your neighbor,” said Webster. “Every dollar raised in the four state area, stays in the four state area. Breast cancer is something that impacts one in eight of us. You are making an impact here tonight. Thursday, I was in the office, had a meeting with the nurse that handles our patient calls, we have 28 new patients just this month alone. 28 new families that are taking their first steps on this journey with breast cancer that need financial help.”

About BCFO

BCFO is a resource for individuals and families in Southwest Missouri who are impacted by breast cancer.

The money raised, according to Seibert in an earlier interview with the Neosho Daily News, will go to a great cause.

“The money goes to the different programs that we have,” she said. “The most expensive one is our client assistance one, that is when a lady has been diagnosed with breast cancer and she is in active treatment. The foundation reviews her application and what we do is we maintain that household budget, meaning we make house payments, we pay for rent, we pay for utility bills, if there is children in the home, we help with daycare, buy school supplies. We fix cars, whatever is needed to keep her or we have had men clients as well, to keep them going. On the medical side of things, we don’t pay any medical bills, however, what we do pay are the mammograms, screening mammograms, that is why we partner with our medical community, with Freeman (Health System) and Mercy, is because of the mammograms.”