Friends and family gathered Saturday night at the Orange Ribbon Benefit in honor of Carson Ross, a 5-year-old leukemia patient.

Since being diagnosed in July, Carson has been undergoing lengthy rounds of treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. A group of friends planned the benefit, which gets its name from the symbol for leukemia awareness. The event, held at the Marguerite Vann Elementary School cafeteria, included a barbecue dinner, silent auction and entertainment.

Carson’s mother, Bonnie Ross, has been traveling back and forth with her son between Conway and St. Jude’s.

"It’s just good to see people you know. It’s been so many unfamiliar faces," she said.

She credited longtime friend Tammy Hussman with planning the benefit.

Hussman said, "I told her we needed to have a silent auction, and it grew into more."

She said the food, entertainment and other items for the Orange Ribbon Benefit were donated.

Kris Duncan, a friend of the family, brought a cake and cupcakes for the silent auction. 

"Tammy Hussman told me about (the benefit). I just started inquiring, what I can do," she said. 

Duncan said her mother also donated stuffed "sock monkeys" and a painting.

"Anything for a good cause," she added.

The day’s events also included a benefit softball tournament, which was held at the Don Owen Recreation Complex.

Also, two Conway Police officers visited Carson. His family said he likes police officers.

"He was really excited about that," his mother said. "He wanted to ride on the motorcycle, but of course we couldn’t let him, because it’s cold outside."

She added her son was glad to be able to attend the event for a short time.

"He’s inside so much. He’s only going to be here a little bit, because his counts are so low," she said.