4th annual ‘Strides’ run/walk continues support for Institute’s breast cancer research


Austin High School students once again are aiming to raise support for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research by coordinating an annual 5K run/walk in May that also will feature a new 5-mile race.

Members of Austin High’s Youth Leadership Club are planning the 4th annual “Strides for a Cure” event for the morning of Saturday, May 17, at Austin’s Todd Park. Last year, more than 120 people of all ages participated in the 5K run/walk and the inaugural children’s race.

Early registration by this Friday guarantees participants will get a T-shirt and a lower registration fee ($5 less) for the 5-kilometer (about 3.1 miles) and 5-mile races; people also can sign up the same day of the event. A shorter children’s race for age 8 and younger is $10 for registration and does not have a registration deadline.

This year’s event will begin with a kickoff ceremony at 8:40 a.m. followed by a 9 a.m. start to the 5K run/walk and 5-mile races; the kids’ race will be at 10:30 a.m. Water will be available at the finish line. A prize drawing will follow the 5K run/walk and 5-mile races. Strollers are allowed for the walk portion but bicycles, inline skates and pets are prohibited.

Early registration fees are $15 per student and $20 per adult for the 5K run/walk, and $25 per student and $30 per adult for the 5-mile race. Those fees will increase by $5 after Friday.

Since 2011, Youth Leadership’s “Strides” event has raised $7,500 overall in support for cutting-edge breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute in Austin. As with any gift to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent of the donated funds directly support research focused on discoveries leading to cancer prevention and control.

“Youth Leadership students have shown that our youth truly care about others, the community and the world through their efforts to work toward a cure for breast cancer,” said Emily Hovland, the club’s advisor. “All of their work pays off each year when I see the smiles on their faces as they realize how much they have raised toward a cause they find truly important.”

Breast cancer is second to skin cancer as the most common cancer diagnosed in American women every year. More than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer in women are expected to be diagnosed this year along with over 2,300 new cases in men, according to the National Cancer Institute. An estimated 40,000 women will die in 2014 from breast cancer.

“Research is the only answer to breast cancer and many other forms of this devastating disease,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “All of us are very grateful for this outstanding, annual support from the Youth Leadership students that provides vital funds for research and great encouragement to our scientists.”

Registration forms are available on the “Strides for a Cure” website at stridesforacurerace.wordpress.com, and checks can be made payable to “AHS Youth Leadership.” Forms and checks can be sent to: Austin High School Activities Office, 301 Third St. N.W., Austin, MN, 55912.