Bust of Steamboat celebrates 16 years with Tiaras and Top Hats Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Bust of Steamboat celebrates 16 years with Tiaras and Top Hats Friday

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Three years ago, Betsy Seabert learned she had breast cancer.

"I had to cut back my hours at work and then I had to make the drive to Edwards for the next six weeks for chemotherapy treatment," Seabert said.

Although the majority of her treatment was done locally at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, she and her husband also had to travel to the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards, 80 miles away.

Seabert said support came when she least expected it.

She received a $500 check from The Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, a local group started by Deb Kinnecom that raises money to help women pay for mammograms, co-pays , breast cancer treatment, wigs, travel costs and more.

Seabert  was able to take the money and use it for gas and groceries during her six weeks of treatment in Edwards.

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"It was so comforting to have that support and it was a big help to not have to worry about those costs directly out of pocket," she said.

Raising funds for women just like Seabert, the awareness project's biggest fundraiser, Bust of Steamboat, will celebrate its 16th year from 6 to 10 p.m.  Friday at Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road.

Giving the community a chance to strut their best, the theme this year will be "Tiaras and Top Hats," featuring the annual party and art auction, showcasing pieces donated by local artists that incorporate an image of a bra or bust.

"What hasn't changed in the last 16 years is that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer," said Kinnecom, who started the awareness project in 2001 and the event in 2002 after watching a close friend lose a six-year battle against breast cancer. Kinnecom turned to the community for support in raising funds for women dealing with the emotional and financial burdens related to breast cancer.

Over the years, the program has donated items to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center including a chemotherapy chair, contributed to the purchase of an MRI machine and also sponsored a boutique at the UCHealth Jan Bishop Cancer Center that helps women battling cancer. The women can select scarves, wigs and hats while undergoing their treatment and chemotherapy.

"There will be those days where I'll be out doing my everyday life or getting ready for the event and a woman will walk up to me and say ‘thank you, you helped me out when I needed it most,’" Kinnecom said. "It's those moments that keep me doing this each year and knowing that it really is making a difference and touching someone local."

Funds raised at the Bust of Steamboat event stay local, and last year theThe Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project put $27,000 back into the hands of local women for their treatment.

Tiaras and Top Hats attendees are encouraged to dress up for the event that will include a "heads or tails" game to win a variety of prizes, including a Steamboat Ski Area season pass or an extreme outdoor adventure day with powder skiing, a hot air balloon ride and a Hala paddleboard rental.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@steamboattoday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

If you go:

What: Bust of Steamboat’s Tiaras and Top Hats

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20

Where: Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road