Students at I.J. Holton Intermediate School, who created and sold T-shirts to raise funds for cancer research, presented a $607 donation on Friday to representatives from The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

Students Donate

Fifth- and sixth-grade students at Austin’s I.J. Holton Intermediate School present a $607 donation Friday for cancer research to representatives of The Hormel Institute, including Gail Dennison, Director of Public Relations & Development, and scientists Ke Yao and Kelly Johnson.


Gail Dennison, Director of Public Relations & Development, joined two scientists – Kelly Johnson and Ke Yao – from The Hormel Institute in accepting the gift from Holton students. As with any gift to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent of the funds will directly support cancer research focused on discoveries leading to the prevention and control the devastating disease.

Sixth-graders came up with the idea for creating a T-shirt as a cancer research fundraiser after visiting The Hormel Institute in January as part the Institute’s annual day of tours for all Austin sixth-graders. Fifth- and sixth-graders then worked under the direction of teacher Bill Kinney to select a shirt design, work with a local business to make the shirts and then sell them as a fundraiser.

Berenice Avina

Sixth-grader Berenice Avina Alvarado created the winning design for the cancer-awareness T-shirt that Holton students sold for the fundraiser.

Holton sixth-grader Berenice Avina Alvarado created the winning shirt design that features the phrase “Be Strong and Fight Cancer – Cancer Comes in Many Colors,” in reference to the array of colors that represent different types of cancer.

Earlier this year, Holton students donated $1,274 from a separate fundraising effort to benefit The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research as part the 4th annual “Paint the Town Pink.”

With these gifts, The Hormel Institute will honor I.J. Holton School by adding a panel with its name to the Institute’s Donor Recognition Wall when it undergoes an annual update in June.