First-time citywide effort raises funds for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research

AUSTIN – Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Austin’s first citywide effort to decorate itself in pink has led to more than $62,500 raised for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research.

“Paint the Town Pink” – created by a local committee to extend the fun and success of the Austin Bruins hockey team’s “Paint the Rink Pink” fundraising game to benefit The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research – involved numerous Austin businesses and organizations during Feb. 2-5.

Major contributions that are part of the current overall total of $62,548 for “Paint the Town Pink” include nearly $39,000 from the Austin Bruins’ 2nd annual “Paint the Rink Pink;” almost $12,000 from the 10th annual “Fishing for a Cure,” about $3,000 raised at the Hormel Foods plant in Austin; nearly $1,500 from a St. Olaf Lutheran Church pink pancakes and Spam breakfast; and $1,400 from the Austin High School girls basketball team’s “Paint the Packer Gym Pink” game.

“Paint the Town Pink” funds will go 100 percent directly to supporting The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge research into ways to prevent and control breast cancer.

“We deeply appreciate the ongoing, tremendous support from the Austin community, especially through the recent ‘Paint the Town Pink’ festivities,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “Together, we will continue to make progress against breast cancer. Everyone who supported ‘Paint the Town Pink’ should know they are part of our cutting-edge research that will lead to a cancer-free world.”

Representatives from The Hormel Institute, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Austin Parks & Recreation Department and Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin led the creation of “Paint the Town Pink” after the Austin Bruins’ first “Paint the Rink Pink” drew a sellout crowd of nearly 2,000 people and raised over $22,000 for the Institute’s breast cancer research in February 2011. The “Paint the Town Pink” committee worked with local volunteers, organizations and businesses on new fundraising events as well as created and distributed pink cardboard ribbons and pink flags throughout the city, among other things.

Jeff Baldus, of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, and his wife Kris donated the numerous pink flags that were posted in front of The Hormel Institute and throughout downtown Austin during “Paint the Town Pink.”

This year’s “Paint the Rink Pink” on Feb. 4 drew another sellout crowd and overall now has raised more than $60,000 in the past two years for the Institute’s breast cancer research, mainly through its highly successful post-game auction of each Bruins player’s pink jersey.

Organizers plan to bring “Paint the Town Pink” back again in 2013 in what’s hopefully an even larger citywide event. Businesses, organizations and others who have ideas or would like to participate in next year’s “Paint the Town Pink” are encouraged to contact the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau at 437-4563 or

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