5K run/walk to raise support for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge research

Young leaders from Austin High School once again are raising support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research by organizing a 5K run/walk Saturday morning.

Members of the AHS Youth Leadership Club, which last year raised $2,500 for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research, are offering the 3rd annual “Strides for a Cure” 5K run/walk – about 3.1 miles long – to men and women of all ages at Austin’s Todd Park. Walkers and runners will follow a paved course on mostly flat terrain.

Following a kickoff ceremony about 8:40 a.m., the run/walk will begin at 9 a.m. Strollers are allowed for the walk portion. Bikes, inline skates, pets and portable music devices are prohibited.

New this year, a shorter-length race for children ages 12 and younger also will be offered, starting at 10:30 a.m.

In the past two years, AHS Youth Leadership Club members have raised $5,000 overall in support for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research. Breast cancer is second to skin cancer as the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, according to Mayo Clinic, a major collaborative research partner of The Hormel Institute.

Researchers at The Hormel Institute are making progress in finding ways to prevent and control breast cancer as well as other types of cancer, Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong said.

“This type of support is very meaningful to all of us as it raises vital funding for research and shows the community’s strong faith and trust in our work,” Dong said.

All proceeds from the “Strides for a Cure” event are donated to The Hormel Institute’s Breast Cancer Research Fund. Donations can be sent to the “Strides for a Cure Foundation” by making checks payable to the “AHS Youth Leadership Foundation” and sending them to Austin High School Youth Leadership, 301 3rd St. N.W., Austin, MN, 55912.

Club adviser Emily Hovland said the Youth Leadership members, who are dedicated to community wide service throughout the school year, work hard to organize the “Strides” race every year.

“It’s a great way to make a difference right here in our community,” Hovland said. “Breast cancer affects many people, and we are hoping to get a lot of participants involved to make a large impact this year.”

People can register at Todd Park the morning of the “Strides” 5K run/walk or in advance by going online to stridesforacure.webstarts.com or in person at the Austin High School cashier’s office. Race-day packets should be picked up between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the day of the race at Todd Park.

Cost is $25 per adult and $20 per student for the 5K run/walk; and $10 per child (ages 12 and younger) for the kids race. Event T-shirts no longer are available for those registering now.

Water will be available at the finish line. A prize drawing will follow the 5K run/walk. Volunteers are needed for the event. Anyone interested can contact Hovland.