First-time event to support The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research

AUSTIN, Minn. – Wednesday, Oct. 10 — Pink will be sported along with the usual Austin Packers scarlet and white colors during Friday night’s football game as part of an inaugural effort to raise awareness and support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research.

This year, the Packer Football Booster Club decided to promote a “Pink Out Night” at the Austin Packers’ final home football game of the regular season against the Owatonna Huskies, starting at 7 p.m. Hass Stadium. October is observed internationally as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with pink associated with breast cancer.

Prior to the game, volunteer parents from the Packer Football Booster Club will host their traditional pregame tailgate party outside of Hass Stadium (east side) from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Wescott Athletic Complex. This Friday, however, the club’s “Pink Out Night” tailgate party will raise money to support The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research by selling a limited number of “Send Cancer Packin’” pink T-shirts for $10 each as well as accepting donations.

With a festive, music-filled atmosphere, the Packer tailgate parties offer hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, chips and beverages for sale.

Friday night’s game will raise awareness about the importance of supporting breast cancer research and early detection in an effort to hopefully save lives, said Bonnie Kilpatrick, Booster Club Member and the event’s organizer.

Committee members felt that having the “Pink Out Night” is a way to demonstrate that Austin High football players, cheerleaders, students, parents and fans support those who have been affected by breast cancer, Kilpatrick said.

“This being our first year we are trying to plant a seed that will grow from year to year,” Kilpatrick said. “We are hoping this will become an annual event that the community embraces. We also want to demonstrate to the residents of Austin that the football team is about winning off the field as well as on. Let’s all join together to ‘SEND CANCER PACKIN’.”

Some Packer football players will wear pink shirts under their uniforms and a few plan to wear pink gloves in show of their support for those fighting breast cancer and those who lost their lives to the disease.

Faculty and staff at The Hormel Institute are grateful for this new fundraising initiative by parents of the Austin Packers football as well as for the significant, ongoing support from the entire Austin community, said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director for The Hormel Institute.

“This brings much encouragement to our scientists who are working vigorously on discoveries leading to the prevention and control of breast cancer and other types of cancer,” Dong said. “Our community knows that research is the only answer to cancer.”

With one of the top scientific publishing records, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota – Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned cancer research center conducting research focused on discoveries leading to the prevention and control of cancer. Its scientists conduct research focused on how cancer works and what nontoxic, natural compounds can be used to prevent and control cancer.

The BioScience Triangle growing the collaborative partnership between the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Mayo Clinic-Rochester and The Hormel Institute-Austin is continuing to expand, with plans for a major expansion in 2013 at the Institute to add 20 labs and better space for its International Center of Research Technology.