Brownsdale first community to officially plan own PTTP fundraising in February

PTTP logo for rural communities

Pink plans for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research are expanding outside of Austin into surrounding communities, with Brownsdale first to officially set dates.

Following an invitation to southern Minnesota and neighboring communities to join the annual fundraiser, Brownsdale residents formed a PTTP committee that met for the first time Wednesday night. The group is planning a Brownsdale PTTP initiative for Feb. 7-9 and offer other events throughout the winter. Volunteers plan a kickoff for the Brownsdale PTTP at the city’s sidewalk sales Oct. 12. Other towns are encouraged to do the same.

“Breast cancer is devastating in all our lives, and we know the only answer is research,” said Kathi Finley, new director of the PTTP intiative. “The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research is world-renowned and the progress they make is for all of us. We need and welcome nearby communities and neighboring states to join our effort. It is our hope that PTTP will continue to grow –we’ll all benefit from more research.”

Finley has been meeting with officials in numerous towns and will continue throughout the coming months. A new, rural PTTP logo – similar but separate from the Austin PTTP logo – was designed for smaller communities to use in their PTTP fundraising efforts. The logo includes wind turbines, grain elevators and silos, and is available for any community to use with its town name added to it.

“People in Brownsdale and other communities have shown great interest and creativity for supporting the PTTP cause,” Finley said. “It is important to grow the effort beyond Austin where The Hormel Institute is located. The Hormel Institute’s research goes around the world and its progress and discoveries are for all of us. It’s an awesome cause for the month of February to ‘go pink’ while raising vital dollars, 100 percent of which fund The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research.”

Finley said it sounds like there might be friendly competition between towns to see which can raise more money.

Austin’s PTTP festivities – set for Feb. 14-23 – include new ideas, such as “pink” events at the Mower County Fairgrounds on Feb. 16. The festival’s cornerstone event is the Austin Bruins’ “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game scheduled for Feb. 22. Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick started the pink fundraising with the first “Paint the Rink Pink” game in 2011.

Earlier this year, the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink” initiative raised more than $115,000 for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research, topping a goal of $100,000. The 2013 total was nearly double the amount raised in 2012 by the first PTTP, which was an extension of the Austin Bruins first “Paint the Rink Pink” game in 2011. The goal in 2013 for Austin is $150,000 again with a long range goal of having this event become a major fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Donations from the “pink” fundraising in 2011 and 2012 helped support the acquisition of cutting-edge technology for The Hormel Institute’s researchers to use in accelerating discoveries for breast cancer research. Funds from the 2013 PTTP were distributed earlier this year in the form of seven grants to seven scientists at The Hormel Institute for breast cancer research. Known as “seed grants,” these funds are helping Institute researchers conduct work that will enable them to better seek significantly larger grants for breast cancer research.

PTTP steering committee members include representatives from The Hormel Institute, Austin Bruins, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Austin, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Community Learning Center, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mower County Fair Board, Riverland Community College and Vision 2020 Waterways Committee.

Anyone who has ideas or is interested in participating in the 2014 PTTP is encouraged to contact Finley at 507-460-0259 or by email at You also can follow PTTP updates on Facebook at: