You Are Invited: Derby After Dark Gala 2024

Two couples enjoying BCI Derby After Dark Gala

Boone Center, Inc. (BCI) invites the community to attend its Derby After Dark Gala on Saturday, May 4. The event will be held from 4 to 9:30 p.m. at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Mo.

At the gala, we will honor individuals and organizations who have shown exceptional dedication to promoting inclusive practices and supporting individuals with disabilities. Ralph Coose will receive the esteemed Loving Hands Award in recognition of his steadfast commitment and advocacy for individuals with disabilities. The Boulevard Senior Living of St. Charles will be celebrated as Employment Partner of the Year for its outstanding efforts in offering vocational training and competitive employment opportunities. Additionally, Henkel will be honored as Customer of the Year for its ongoing commitment to sending work to our BCI Packaging plant, which directly employs 230 adults with disabilities in meaningful work.

Gala tickets are $185 at and include an open bar, dinner, live music, dancing, best-dressed contests, a live stream of the race, a silent auction, and more. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. All proceeds will benefit the development of our new pre-employment program, which will teach job skills and prepare individuals who need extra assistance to enter the workforce.

“We are thrilled to recognize the outstanding contributions of Ralph Coose, Boulevard Senior Living, and Henkel,” said BCI CEO Troy Compardo. “Their unwavering support and dedication to our mission have made a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities. We invite the community to join us at the gala to celebrate these achievements and support BCI’s vital work.”

2024 Loving Hands Honoree

A photo of Mr. Ralph Coose, a man wearing a brown suit coat, tie, and glassesRalph Coose is a dedicated community leader known for his extensive involvement in various organizations. As the former owner of CENTURY 21 Coose Realty, Ralph was pivotal in expanding real estate services in Lincoln County. Beyond his professional endeavors, Ralph has been actively engaged in community service, holding memberships in organizations such as the Troy Elks Club, Troy Rotary, Troy Kiwanis Club, Troy Chamber of Commerce, and Troy Fire Department. His commitment to philanthropy is evident through his involvement in initiatives like the establishment of the Special Olympics in Lincoln County, for which he was honored in 1998.

In 2011, Ralph’s dedication to serving the community led him to facilitate a meeting between BCI and local stakeholders. This collaboration paved the way for the opening of our Moscow Mills facility to offer needed employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities residing in Lincoln County. Since the facility opened, Ralph and fellow philanthropists at the Bank of Old Monroe and Berkshire Hathaway Select Properties return each year to host a Thanksgiving luncheon for the employees, exemplifying his enduring commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities.

Ralph’s legacy of community leadership and philanthropy serves as an inspiration to all who have had the privilege of working with him. His unwavering commitment to creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities has left an indelible mark on Lincoln County.

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