Team, parents supporting Institute’s breast cancer research Thursday with pink event

AUSTIN, Minn. – Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 — As an early kickoff for the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink,” the Austin Packers boys basketball team and their parents will raise awareness and support Thursday evening for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research.

The Austin High School Fast Break Boys Booster Club will be raising research funds through a first-time pink event called “Hoops for Hope – Shooting for a Cure” during the Austin Packers vs. Rochester John Marshall Rockets game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Packer Gym. The Booster Club is sponsoring the cancer awareness evening along with Austin Packers Head Coach Kris Fadness and Austin High Activities Director Lisa Quednow-Bickler.

Thursday night’s game – expected to fill Packer Gym – will feature two of the best teams in the Big Nine Conference, with Austin and Rochester JM both undefeated in conference play heading into their games tonight.

The game is the first event as part of this year’s “Paint the Town Pink” citywide initiative in Austin – which officially runs Feb. 1-10 – to raise awareness and support for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research.

Mike Olmsted, one of the Booster Club’s parent volunteers, said the club and basketball program are excited to be able to help The Hormel Institute with “their amazing work in the fight against breast cancer.”

“Many players will be playing the game in honor of or in memory of someone who has struggled with cancer,” Olmsted said. “We want to encourage everyone to come out to the game.”

Money raised by the event and donated to The Hormel Institute will go 100 percent directly toward funding breast cancer research in Austin.

Booster Club members will be selling pink “Hopes for Hope – Shooting for a Cure” T-shirts in the lobby outside of Packer Gym on Thursday. The group also will pass buckets around for monetary donations during the evening.

The Hormel Institute’s faculty and staff are grateful for the Packer boys team’s new fundraiser and awareness night, said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director for The Hormel Institute.

“We are very fortunate to receive such tremendous, ongoing support from the Austin community as this strong generosity is helping our researchers continue to make progress in the fight against breast cancer and other forms of this devastating disease,” Dong said.

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 are focused on investigating 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 more research labs and better space for its International Center of Research Technology.