Backyard BBQ & Brew brings out the aprons

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 57 views 

More than 400 gathered Saturday night (Aug. 14) in Fort Smith at the Backyard BBQ & Brew to help raise money for the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House.

The event, held at the Holiday Inn City Center in downtown Fort Smith, also marked the 10-year anniversary of the support house at its location south of Creekmore Park.

A first for the Backyard BBQ was an apron contest. The aprons were decorated by individuals, cancer support groups and other friends of the cancer support house. Many of the aprons were made by individuals and families who were part of winning and losing battles with cancer. Each apron display included a story. One particularly moving apron included three stories from young siblings who recently lost their mother to breast cancer.

The Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House provides cost-free non-medical support programs and services to cancer patients and their family members and educational programs to the community in support of cancer prevention behavior and early detection of cancer.

Backyard BBQ included a silent and live auctions and a raffle for a Las Vegas vacation. Mr. Cabbage Head and the Screaming Radishes provided the musical entertainment and dance tunes. Daren Bobb, news anchor and personality for KFSM TV-5, was the emcee and wore an apron during the event.

Volunteer organizer Casey Collyar said the event raised around $40,000 last year and was on track to do the same this year. She said the auctions and event sponsorship — which began at $1,000 — help raise most of the money.

According to Martha Pendleton, executive director of the Cancer Support Foundation, “the money raised from this event helps to provide support groups, medical supplies, prescription assistance and much more to thousands of local cancer patients and caregivers. This night is so much more than a casual evening of good food and fellowship. It’s a critical part of keeping and growing much needed services for our community."