Institute to host meeting Tuesday for anyone interested in growing PTTP


Tuesday, Oct. 28th 5-6 p.m.
The Hormel Institute
801 16th Ave NE
Austin, Mn
Park in West/Lobby Parking lot

Official dates now are set for Austin’s 5th annual “Paint the Town Pink” initiative early next year to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

Paint the Town Pink” will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 8 in Austin, featuring pink flags and ribbons throughout the community along with numerous “pink” events, including the marquee event – the Austin Bruins’ 5th annual “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game on Feb. 7 at Riverside Arena. Each year, “Paint the Rink Pink,” which annually has been a sellout crowd of 2,000 and has raised about $125,000 in four years for the Institute’s breast cancer research, features pink ice and pink Bruins jerseys auctioned after the game.

Other major PTTP events with scheduled dates include the 3rd annual “Plunging for Pink” polar plunge on Jan. 31 at East Side Lake; the 4th annual St. Olaf Church’s pink pancakes and Spam breakfast on Feb. 1; Matchbox Children’s Theatre’s “The Pale Pink Dragon” on Feb. 6-8 at Paramount Theatre; and the Mower County Fairgrounds’ 2nd annual “Smashing Cancer” demolition derby and YMCA 5K run/walk on Feb. 8.

Anyone interested in starting a new PTTP event in 2015 and learning more about how to grow PTTP further is invited to attend an informational meeting from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday at The Hormel Institute. PTTP director Kathi Finley and Gail Dennison, The Hormel Institute’s director of development and public relations, will give a presentation. Attendees can park in the Institute’s west/main lobby lot.

Dates for some annual and new PTTP events have yet to be finalized but there is plenty of time for planning a new pink event or fundraiser, Finley said. Some events will happen before or after the official dates, including Hormel Historic Home’s Sweetheart Dinner fundraiser on Feb. 14.

The 2015 PTTP honorees are the Rodney & Susan Ryks Family. Susan Ryks is a breast cancer survivor, and the Ryks family has been significantly involved in PTTP fundraising and events, including in 2013 winning the PTTP pink home decorating contest. The Ryks also have been active in PTTP fundraising at the Hormel Foods Austin Plant, “Plunging for Pink” and the annual Austin Packers football team’s “Pink Out” night game, among other things.

“We are very pleased to have the Ryks family serve as this year’s PTTP honorees,” PTTP director Kathi Finley said. “They know firsthand the importance of breast cancer awareness as well as the fundraising that is needed to support research leading to better ways to prevent and control this terrible disease that affects so many families.”

Since 2011, “Paint the Town Pink” has raised nearly $365,000 overall in support for cutting-edge breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute in Austin. Funds raised the first two years helped the Institute acquire technology to accelerate breast cancer research and, in the last two years, has provided funds for seed grants supporting new breast cancer research projects.

Paint the Town Pink” has grown from one event in 2011 – the inaugural “Paint the Rink Pink” game – to dozens of events and fundraisers in Austin as well as in surrounding towns, including Brownsdale and Rose Creek. PTTP funds go 100 percent directly to supporting The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned research into ways to prevent and control breast cancer.

Anyone who has ideas or is interested in participating in the 2015 PTTP is encouraged to contact Kathi Finley at 507-460-0259 or by email at You also can follow PTTP updates on its Facebook page at: