When all was said and done, the 28th annual Cancer Gala raised $93,000 — nearly double organizers’ $50,000 goal.

“Knowing that the funds are used directly for friends, family and neighbors, fighting against cancer makes a huge difference to our donors,” said gala committee member Lonna Sowers. “Keeping the funding in our own backyard and supporting folks we may know, brings a real sense of reality to this effort. We know them, their struggles and the fear involved in a cancer diagnosis.”

The proceeds will benefit the Joy of Caring Cancer Fund to help with essential everyday expenses which are out of reach for many dealing with cancer. These expenses could be medication for pain or nausea, gas cards, wigs, nutritional supplements or whatever the patient must have to survive day-to-day. Proceeds from the gala will also be used for cutting edge research and the clinical trials currently being offered by the Delbert Day Cancer Institute.

“Now area residents can receive the highest quality cancer treatment and participate in trial studies right here in Rolla without having to travel great distances,” said Sowers. “We are overwhelmed by the response from people wanting to help local residents in their fight against this horrible disease,” said Sowers. “We actually sold out our reservations two or three weeks prior to the deadline. So, we opened an additional room to allow more folks to attend.”