Dressed in pink dresses or a pink suit, countless people attended the sixth annual Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) Pink Ribbon Gala at Downstream Casino Resort on Friday night.

Dressed in pink dresses or a pink suit, countless people attended the sixth annual Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) Pink Ribbon Gala at Downstream Casino Resort on Friday night.
The annual event is a fundraiser to raise money and to help breast cancer patients financially.
A few years back, Steve Roark's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the diagnosis, Roark and his family - who had hosted Barnyard Days on their Circle R Ranch near Neosho - turned Barnyard Days into a fundraiser for BCFO.
"She had breast cancer, she is about seven years out now from her ordeal with that," he said. "Most families have a first hand contact with breast cancer. It is just too prevalent not to and that is what got us started with BCFO and what has kept us here with BCFO."
The night included a buffet, music, silent and live auctions with a Pink Panther theme. Those in attendance also heard some stories from breast cancer survivors and how important the money raised for BCFO helped them.
According to Kristi Seibert, outreach director for BCFO in a previous interview with the Neosho Daily News, "BCFO has several programs to help those dealing with breast cancer during different stages of the treatment and recovery. The purpose of BCFO and the fundraising efforts are to fund and sustain its programs and services. The Financial Assistance Program provides short-term, non-medical financial assistance to those in the BCFO service area, who are in current treatment for breast cancer with demonstrated financial need. Assistance has been provided for one or more of the following financial obligations:  Rent or mortgage; Auto repairs; Utility assistance; Auto insurance; Propane for heat; Auto payments.
BCFO provides Free Screening Mammograms to qualified applicants through qualified medical centers throughout southwest Missouri.  Free screening mammograms are provided to uninsured and underinsured women who meet BCFO’s financial criteria.  This program covers screening mammograms only.
BCFO offers assistance to children of families impacted by breast cancer through the Children’s Fund.  Financial assistance is provided on a case by case basis and has included help toward:  school supplies; childcare; clothing; holiday gifts; orthodontic continuation."
Roark added, "we have now become a tradition and that makes our job  a little bit easier, people look forward to this event every year. We have a great time with it, we raise a lot of money and we will probably raise a little more than $100,000 tonight (Friday) for BCFO. That money stays right here in our area, it doesn't go any place else."
Kristi Adams attended the event for the first time.doesn't
"One of our good friends is a survivor of breast cancer and she is here tonight," Adams said. "We are here to celebrate and to help out a good cause. I have had several friends affected by breast cancer, it is devastating on so many levels, emotionally and physically, it is such a scary experience."
For more information, contact Kristi Seibert at 417-434-2200.