PTTP expanding regionally thanks to new Sterling Drug campaign

Sterling Drug Presents check to the Hormel Institute

Astrup Drug, Inc. Chief Operating Officer, Sam Ewing, presents a $23,235 donation to Dr. Ann Bode, Associate Director of The Hormel Institute, to support The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota’s cutting-edge breast cancer research. Sterling raised the funds through a Cancer Awareness pins fundraiser at the company’s 17 stores last October.

Sterling Drug presented a $23,235 check to The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota for breast cancer research on Tuesday evening, as Paint the Town Pink organizers kicked off the 2016 pink initiative with the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.s “Business After Hours” event. Hy-Vee co-sponsored the event providing pink food and treats attended by chamber members, Austin Bruins hockey team, and PTTP leaders.

Last year PTTP expanded the “pink” breast cancer research fundraiser to outlying communities beyond Austin to include Blooming Prairie, Adams, Lyle and Rose Creek. This year Austin-based Sterling Drug helped spread PTTP throughout the region with an October fundraiser at the company.s 17 stores. Sterling Drug Stores sold Cancer Awareness pins and each donation was matched by the Astrup Family Foundation. In all, 15 communities in Minnesota – Adrian, Albert Lea, Austin, Buffalo, Caledonia, Fairmont, Faribault, Harmony, Hastings, La Crescent, Northfield, Owatonna, Rushford, Spring Grove and Worthington – and two cities in Iowa . Cresco and Osage – participated. .

In October of 2015, I challenged the employees at our 17 Sterling retail pharmacies, to promote the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness pins to our customers,. said Sam Ewing, Chief Operating Officer of Astrup Drug, Inc. .Sterling and the Astrup Family Foundation pledged to donate $3 to the Hormel Institute specifically for the purpose of breast cancer research for each $1.99 pin sold. I am proud to say that we sold 7,745 pins and, as a result, are today donating $23,235 to this worthy cause.

Business After Hours Ambassadors - the Hormel Institute

2016 PTTP Ambassadors Kelly Joseph and Darci Buchan address members of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce at the “Business After Hours” event Tuesday night. The two friends share their personal journeys with cancer and the importance of supporting research.

PTTP Director Kathi Finley announced the goal of raising $200,000 for 2016’s PTTP campaign and introduced cancer ambassadors Kelly Joseph and Darci Buchan who shared their personal journeys with cancer and the importance of supporting research. The two friends have been past participants of PTTP, with Joseph speaking at “Strides for a Cure” 5K run/walk put on by the Austin High School Youth Leadership Club and Buchan leading the distribution of “Fight For.” cards in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health Systems last year, raising more than $1,800.

This year’s PTTP officially runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 14, with the familiar pink flags and ribbons decorating the city along with numerous “pink” events, including the marquee event . the Austin Bruins. 6th annual “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game Feb. 6 vs. the Coulee Region Chill at Riverside Arena. Each year, “Paint the Rink Pink” draws a sellout crowd of 2,000 with its game on pink ice that features a post-game pink jersey auction. Overall, the Bruins have raised more than $152,000 in five years for the Institute.s breast cancer research.

Plunging for Pink polar plunge, now in its 4th year, is Jan. 30 at Austin.s East Side Lake. Attracting nearly 250 plungers last year, Plunging for Pink.s website . . has been updated and is ready for signups. This year.s post-plunge festivities will be at the Austin VFW Club with live music by the Bissen’s. In 2015, Plunging for Pink was the top PTTP fundraiser, raising nearly $59,000.

For the 2015 PTTP . which was the 5th annual initiative . about $191,000 overall was raised in Austin and nearby communities, including Adams, Brownsdale and Rose Creek, to go 100 percent directly into cutting-edge breast cancer research projects at The Hormel Institute. That overall fundraising amount put PTTP at nearly $554,000 raised over five years for breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute.

Funds raised in 2011 and 2012 through PTTP went toward acquiring technology to accelerate breast cancer research. Donations the past three years have been distributed as .seed. grants through an application process open only to researchers at The Hormel Institute for new breast cancer projects. These funds greatly help researchers try out new ideas and gather preliminary data to assist them in applying for major research grants.

Breast cancer predominantly affects women but also is diagnosed in men in about 2,000 new cases annually. It is the most common type of cancer in the United States excluding non-melanoma skin cancers and is the second-leading cause of death by cancer, with more than 40,000 deaths estimated per year.

Some types of breast cancers can be completed cured now thanks to the progress of research,
said Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute. It is our vision and goal to conquer each type so people can enjoy longer, healthier lives.

For a complete list and all details on PTTP events, go online to The Hormel Institute.s website . . and click on the PTTP link at the top or go to Paint the Town Pink.s Facebook page at

Anyone interested in volunteering or initiating a new event for the 2016 PTTP is encouraged to contact Kathi Finley at 507-460-0259 or by email at