(ST. JOSEPH) For Mary Eggerbrecht, the yearly Pink Benefit Golf Fournament is one of the most special occasions at the St. Joseph Country Club.
"My sister had breast cancer. I've also been a nurse for 40 years and have worked at the hospital," the president of the Heartland Regional Medical Center Auxiliary said. "I'm retired currently, so volunteering for this sort of effort just kind of fit in with what I like to do."
The sixth annual tournament, held Monday and hosted by the HRMC Auxiliary, boasted 116 players and a day full of fundraising, giveaways, and plenty of pink. All proceeds went towards the organization's Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund.
"All that money goes right to women in our community that are experiencing breast cancer and have needs that insurance doesn't pay for and they can't afford to buy."
"Everything you do on the course is just gravy money towards the cause," volunteer Jackie Runyan said in reference to donations made by participants during the tournament.
This year's effort raised about 12 thousand dollars; a good chunk of change, but just one drop of the amound raised in what has become an effort that has spread across the northwest Missouri and beyond.
"Benton High School had an event Friday night and raised 15 hundred dollars for the fund," Eggerbrecht said. "It's not just the golf tournament that brings money into this, it's a lot of people in the community, even kids in high school."
"Anybody who had a TV and watched football this weekend, every game was pink," Runyan added. "The NFL has even gotten into it. So yes, it's around our town, it's everywhere."
As the effort to fight breast cancer has grown, so have tournament and benefits like this one.
And with October just one week old, the fight won't be slowing down anytime soon.
"Every person here, breast cancer has touched their lives at some point or will touch their lives. Once you've experienced that, it gives you the drive to keep doing it."