It's getting to be that time of year again, when the people of Rolla put on their finest gowns and dance the night away to raise money for cancer research and treatment.
Registration for the 28th annual Cancer Gala — to be held at the Havener Center Saturday, Feb. 9 — are now being accepted. Cutoff for registrations is Feb. 1. Lonna Sowers, one of the event organizers warns that the event sells out quickly.
The cut-off for this year's event is 420 people, up from the record 410 in attendance at the event in 2012.
Sowers believes the increase in the success of the annual event is the change to keep the proceeds 100 percent local.
The sponsorship form for the gala explains: "Gala proceeds will assist cancer patients who are having difficulty maintaining daily activities through the Joy of Caring Cancer Fund helping, when needed, pay for out-of-reach prescription medication, food supplements, wigs, travel expenses, heating bills and other critical expenses. Cancer patients will also have access to cutting edge research and trial studies available locally through the Delbert Day Cancer Institute with top notch oncologists. Both organizations are part of the 501c3 not-for-profit Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation."
The theme of the event is Arabian nights. Guests in attendance can expect the Havener Center to be draped in jewel tones of blues, purples, reds, and golds.
Champaign, provided by St. James Winery, will be handed out to guests as they arrive. The night consists of a catered meal, complimentary wine bottles on tables, hors d'oeuvres, silent auction items, and a cash bar. Sowers said the always-popular dessert bar will be making another appearance this year.
Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., dinner will be served at 7 p.m., followed by a night of dancing to the music of the Travel Tunes.
Organizers hope to raise $50,000 during this year's event. The 27th annual gala raised nearly $65,000.
"We hardly pay for anything," said Sowers. "Chartwells and the Havener Center works with us."
Attire for the gala is black-tie optional, meaning men should wear a tuxedo or a suit and tie. Women may wear anything from a cocktail dress to evening gowns.
"We know there are people with stage four cancer in attendance," said Sowers. "They are there and looking fabulous!"
There will also be a mystery prize box provided by Kent Jewelry. Tickets will be $25 per chance. Anyone buying a ticket will automatically receive a $25 gift certificate from Kent Jewelry.
Tickets are $65 per person, or $130 per couple. Make checks payable to Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation and send to Dr. Janece Martin, 503 Oak Knoll Road, Rolla, MO 65401.