Austin Bruins raise nearly $40,000 from this year’s game for Institute’s breast cancer research

Paint the Rink Pink Check 2013

Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick on Monday presented The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong with a $39,819 donation from the hockey team’s 3rd annual “Paint the Rink Pink” game Feb. 2. Also pictured (left to right) are The Hormel Institute’s Gail Dennison, Director of Public Relations & Development; Dr. Ann M. Bode, Associate Director; and Dr. Ted Hinchcliffe, Cellular Dynamics section leader; along with Cheryl Corey, Executive Director of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau; and the Austin Bruins staff of Stephanie Bowe, Mike Delhanty, Anna Johnson and Brittany Arendt-Low.

In three years, the Austin Bruins hockey organization now has raised more than $100,000 in support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research through its annual “Paint the Rink Pink” fundraiser game and jersey auction.

Today, Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick presented a check for $39,819 to The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong. That amount put the Austin Bruins, a junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League, at $100,313 overall in donations raised from “Paint the Rink Pink,” which the team started in February 2011.

This year’s donation is the highest amount raised yet by the Austin Bruins through “Paint the Rink Pink,” topping the inaugural game’s $22,370 and the 2012 amount of $38,124. Most of the donated funds -$33,350 – came from the post-game “Paint the Rink Pink” auction of the Bruins players’ 27 specially made jerseys featuring pink, with the rest raised from apparel sales, a raffle, puck drop, general donations and more. By matching these funds with other funds from cancer research foundations and the University of Minnesota, The Hormel Institute has purchased technology that can be used to accelerate breast cancer research.

“All of us at The Hormel Institute remain deeply grateful for and inspired by the tremendous level of support raised each year through ‘Paint the Rink Pink’ by the Austin Bruins and our community,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “This support is vital in our cutting-edge fight against breast cancer and other types of cancer. The best way we can show our sincere gratitude is by continuing to focus on pushing for discoveries leading to the prevention and control of cancer.”

Each year – including the recent game Feb. 2 – “Paint the Rink Pink” has drawn a sellout crowd of about 2,000 people to Riverside Arena to see the Austin Bruins play a game on pink ice. The Bruins won this year’s game in a dramatic, comeback shootout over the Brookings Blizzard.

“Our partnership with The Hormel Institute has become a fantastic way for the people of Austin to show how important The Hormel Institute is to them,” Bruins owner Craig Patrick said. “The amount we have been able to raise in the jersey auction is nothing short of astounding. My appreciation to the Bruins fans can’t be measured – thank you so much.”

Early into the team’s inaugural 2010-2011 season, the Austin Bruins approached The Hormel Institute about doing a “Paint the Rink Pink” game. The success of the first “Paint the Rink Pink” then led officials from The Hormel Institute, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Austin Parks & Recreation Department, Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin and other volunteers to extend the fun and success of “Paint the Rink Pink” into a week-long, citywide effort in February 2012 called “Paint the Town Pink,” which raised over $62,500, including the Bruins’ “Paint the Rink Pink” donation.

This year, “Paint the Town Pink” – which ran from Feb. 1-10 – grew even bigger. Thanks to the Austin Bruins, more donations to support The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Institute to recap the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink” initiative.

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