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CARMEL, Ind. — The Blue Hope Bash returns to central Indiana this year with an in-person gala and fundraiser supporting the fight against colorectal cancer.

FOX59 Morning News Anchor Lindy Thackston, who has shared her own cancer journey with TV viewers and in her Life With Lindy podcast, will host the event.

The 2021 gala is Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. The event takes place in Carmel for the first time this year at the 502 East Event Center.

The evening begins with a reception, cocktail hour and silent auction. The dinner program starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by music and dancing with the band Endless Summer.

FOX59's Lindy Thackston

Guests are encouraged to wear blue, the color for colorectal cancer awareness.

Tickets can be purchased here for $150 each. All proceeds go to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a national nonprofit founded in 1999 by a group of 41 survivors, caregivers and friends.

The organization promotes awareness and screening, provides support and resources to patients and their families, and funds research for a cure.

The inaugural Blue Hope Bash Indianapolis was in 2018, as awareness was growing about the rise in younger-onset colorectal cancer.

The first two events took place at the Alexander Hotel in downtown Indy, then the event went virtual for 2020.

Although colorectal cancer is rapidly declining overall in the United States, a 2017 study by American Cancer Society researchers published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute noted that it is increasing among young adults.

Since the mid-1980s, colon cancer incidence rates have increased 1% to 2.4% per year in adults ages 20-39, the study found. Three in 10 rectal cancer cancer diagnoses are now in patients younger than 55.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 3,310 people in Indiana will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2021. The disease is very curable if screenings catch it early, often before symptoms show up.

Indiana ranked 35th of 50 states in 2020 for colorectal screening, according to CDC data, but that’s significant improvement over past years. The ranking was 42 as recently as 2018.