A foundation dedicated to helping children with cancer is hosting a fundraiser Saturday.

A foundation dedicated to helping children with cancer is hosting a fundraiser Saturday.
The Christopher Foundation’s 15th annual Gospel Celebration will start at 5 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 12325 Hwy. 86 in Neosho, with a range of activities from a chili supper to silent and live auctions to gospel signing from four groups: New Road, Spring City Quartet, Borderline Bluegrass and First Baptist group.
“This event is the only fundraiser that we do for the Christopher Foundation,” said Cathy Cooley, mother of Christopher Cooley, for whom the foundation is named after. “The money that we raise on this evening is what we use for the year to accomplish the things we do for the kids with cancer and their families.”
Some of the things the foundation does includes providing Easter baskets and the Easter bunny to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., funding scholarships at two local universities, sponsoring Make A Wish for a local child with cancer, supporting Camp Quality, a camp for kids with cancer, and more.
While the event is free, Cooley said donations will be accepted.
“We encourage everyone to attend,” she said. “The event has enough going on that there is something for everyone. The food and music are outstanding, and the excitement of competition on bidding for the items in the auction is a lot of fun.”
Items for the auctions include a La-Z-Boy recliner, gift certificates, oil changes, restaurants, manicures and pedicures, dog grooming, portraits, one-year memberships to the YMCA, quilts, pictures, home décor, children’s toys and bicycles, and lots of goodies.
Last year’s event raised $13,000.
Cooley said the foundation not only is pleased to host the event, but also to see public support.
“It is always great to get to visit with our supporters and to have such a wonderful night together. We have always been very thrilled with the way the community has supported us, not only in donating items for the auction, but in coming out to our event and supporting us. This is a great community that pulls together for others.”
For more information or to donate, contact Cooley at 451-1434 or 389-4415.

Foundation history
The foundation was named after Christopher Cooley, who was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at 3 1/2 years of age. Following his diagnosis, he went through several major surgeries, many rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant March 1, 1995.
He stayed in remission for 19 months before he relapsed in October 1997. He went through a variety of chemotherapy treatments, painful antibody treatments, tumor vaccine treatments, surgeries and radiation. Christopher died Feb. 4, 2001, at the age of 9.
The first event for Christopher was held a week prior to him passing away. He was in the hospital, so the event was taped for him to hear.
The Christopher Foundation raises public awareness of pediatric cancer, supports patient and families and gains knowledge through research funding.