Austin Bruins present more than $38,000 for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research

AUSTIN, Minn. – Friday, February 10 — More than $38,000 is going to The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research thanks to the Austin Bruins’ 2nd annual “Paint the Rink Pink” fundraiser game last weekend that drew a sellout crowd of nearly 2,000 people.

Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick today presented The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic with a check for $38,124 raised from the Bruins’ post-game jersey auction, pink T-shirt sales, raffle, silent auction, donations during the game and other sources, including the Austin Fire Department donating $625.

Nearly 2,000 people packed Riverside Arena the night of Feb. 4 for the Austin Bruins’ second annual “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game. Bruins players wore specially made pink jerseys and played on pink-colored ice on their way to a 6-3 victory over the Alexandria Blizzard.

“We deeply appreciate the support we receive from our community,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “It is first of all encouraging to have such dedicated friends join our research through their contributions. And, in times when federal research dollars are harder to come by, every donation becomes all the more important. Our best way of saying thank you is to keep pushing for discoveries leading to the prevention and control of cancer.”

Most donations came from the Bruins’ on-ice auction after the game in which $29,350 was raised by individually selling the players’ 27 pink jerseys and a goalie mask to the highest bidder. An anonymous donor gave a matching $2,500 donation for the auction’s highest-ever bid of $2,800.

This year’s “Paint the Rink Pink” game again featured an on-ice program during the first intermission with speakers from The Hormel Institute, Austin Bruins and the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as breast cancer survivor Michelle Fimon, of Austin.

In two years, the Austin Bruins, a junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League, now has raised more than $60,000 for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research. The team’s panel on The Hormel Institute’s Donor Recognition Wall will be updated to reflect the higher giving level of “Paint the Rink Pink.”

“Paint the Rink Pink 2012 was a great moment for Austin, and also our Franchise,” said Patrick, who is looking forward to continuing the event in 2013. “The outpouring support for The Hormel Institute to help fight cancer is an amazing thing. The people of Austin should be very proud of themselves, and we are very grateful for their support.”

Early in the team’s inaugural 2010-2011 season, the Austin Bruins approached The Hormel Institute with the idea of doing a “Paint the Rink Pink” game in February 2011 to support the Institute’s breast cancer research. That first “Paint the Rink Pink” game also drew a sellout crowd and raised $22,370 for the Institute’s breast cancer research.

Building on that success, The Hormel Institute teamed up this fall with officials from the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Parks & Recreation Department and Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin to extend the fun and success of “Paint the Rink Pink” to a week-long, citywide effort called “Paint the Town Pink.” Many families, businesses, schools and organizations participated in the pink-filled events and fundraisers.

Thanks to the Austin Bruins, even more donations to support The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research will be announced next week to recap the first “Paint the Town Pink” festivities and fundraisers.

The Hormel Institute is a world-renowned medical research center in Austin specializing in research leading to cancer prevention and control.