Leaders of The Hormel Institute and the Karl Potach Memorial Golf Tournament fundraiser today announced their collaborative plans to hire a scientist who will focus exclusively on Wilms Tumor, the cancer that took the life of 4-year-old Karl Potach of Austin in 1997. The research position will be jointly funded by proceeds from the“Karl Tourney”annual golf fundraiser and The Hormel Institute.

“This is a very special moment in time for us,” said Dr. Kurt Potach, Karl’s father. “Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined this. To have a scientist devoted to finding a cure for Wilms Tumor, in Karl’s honor, right here in Austin – it is just simply amazing.”

“We are so very thankful for Lance and Snow (Pogones) starting the memorial for Karl and for all of the wonderful volunteers, participants and contributors from this community over these past 10 years. It will be so exciting to see what the future holds in this new endeavor. Most of all, we are truly grateful to God for blessing our lives with Karl’s life, the purpose for which is still unfolding.”

Kurt and Brenda Potach lost their son Karl to cancer in 1997 after a three year battle with Wilms Tumor. Family friend Lance Pogones started the annual golf tournament in 1998 to honor Karl’s memory and raise funds to support cancer research. The tournament will take on an even deeper meaning with research now dedicated exclusively to this rare form of cancer.

“This tournament started from a small idea and this development takes it to a new level,” said Pogones. “If donations for research will save one family from going through what Karl Potach and his family went through, it has been more than Snow and I hoped for. So many people and businesses have given to this event from their hearts, talents and resources. I really want to say thank you to everyone who has helped over the years and to Dr. Dong and The Hormel Institute for taking this step with us.”

Since the tournament started in 1998, over $200,000 has been raised and donated to help childhood cancer. Besides supporting the new scientist at The Hormel Institute, proceeds from the tournament will continue to be donated this year to Mayo Clinic and the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation. Today a $10,000 check was given to The Hormel Institute to begin the process.

“We are thankful for your support and are honored to provide this research collaboration with our friends and our community,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director. “Wilms Tumor is a rare type of cancer. By dedicating a scientist to research it exclusively, our goal will be to accelerate progress. I will also work to secure more funding through additional grants.”

The 11th Annual “Karl Tourney” will be held Monday, August 18th at Austin Country Club. For registration information or to make a donation go to www.karlpotachfoundation.com

The Hormel Institute is a research unit of the University of Minnesota and a collaborative research partner with Mayo Clinic. It is recognized worldwide for its contributions to cancer research and prevention.