4th annual ‘Plunging for Pink’ and other PTTP events kick off official 2016 PTTP

 The official 2016 Paint the Town Pink festivities will again start with a splash this year. This Saturday, 200+ polar plungers wearing an array of creative pink costumes will jump into the icy waters of East Side Lake and snowmobilers will speed across it all to support The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota’s cancer research.The Snowmobile Speed Run is organized by the Spam Town Snow Drifters and will start runs at 11 a.m. for vintage and newer snowmobiles. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in the parking area on East Side Lake’s north side, across from the polar plunge site.

Entry for the speed run is $10 for three runs on a 600-foot-long race stretch, racing against a clock. Prizes will be awarded for top speeds and spectators invited to watch the fun.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday the 4th annual “Plunging for Pink” polar plunge begins with teams jumping into icy waters at the boat launch in East Side Lake Park, located along Oakland Place NE. A top PTTP fundraiser, the Polar Plunge raised nearly $59,000 last year with 250 jumpers and has raised over $112,000 in three years for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research.

Saturday’s post-plunge party will be at the Austin VFW Club, starting with a meal at 6 p.m. Plungers eat for free and other guests are asked to give a free will offering. An awards ceremony for the plunge is at 8 p.m. just before the Bissen Family Band and The Ripdoozers perform for the polar plunge celebration.

Rose Creek again joins PTTP as their community hosts Pink Out day also on Saturday.  Events include a Pink pancake breakfast, vintage snowmobile rides, silent auction, beanbag tournament and more. Rose Creek, Adams, Blooming Prairie, Brownsdale and others have joined Paint the Town Pink “pink” breast cancer research fundraiser to outlying communities.

Sports groups throughout the region have or are holding PTTP events as well as area schools, businesses, organizations coming up with a multitude of new and creative fundraising activities.

For example, new this year artists of all ages and skill can create their own “Hope Floats” painted canvas through Uniquely Yours Canvas’ Canvas for a Cure Fundraiser at 1:30 pm at the Austin Eagles Club on Sunday. The artwork features a cancer ribbon butterfly that can be painted any color. Space is limited so please register at www.uniquelyyourscanvas.com. Cost is $40 per painter.

Since 2011, Paint the Town Pink and Paint the Rink Pink Austin Bruins hockey game has raised $554,000 for breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute.

Funds raised in 2011 and 2012 through PTTP supported technology to accelerate breast cancer research and the past three years has gone to “seed” grants for innovative breast cancer research projects. These funds greatly help researchers try out novel ideas and gather preliminary data to assist them in applying for major research grants. While directed at breast cancer, the research can be applied to many types of cancers and thus an effort is always made to show the “colors” of all the other cancers.  New this year is the multi-flag display at Mayo Clinic Health System Austin.

PTTP 2016 officially runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 14 with the Austin Bruins’ 6th annual “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game Feb. 6 at Riverside Arena.

For a complete list and all details on PTTP events, go online to The Hormel Institute’s website – www.hi.umn.edu – and click on the PTTP link at the top or go to Paint the Town Pink’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/austinpttp.  Interested donors or volunteers are encouraged to contact PTTP director Kathi Finley at 507-460-0259 or by email at GoPTTP@gmail.com.


Sat., Jan. 30

All Day – Rose Creek Pink Out


11 AM – Snowmobile Speed Run hosted by the Spam Town Snow Drifters for vintage and newer snowmobiles. Registration at 9:30 a.m. in northwest corner of East Side Lake. Contact Steve at 355-1982.


1:30 PM – 4th annual “Plunging for Pink” polar plunge at East Side Lake hosted by Austin Vision 2020, Austin Parks & Recreation and the Austin Fire Department. To register, go to www.plungingforpink.com.


Sun., Jan. 31

1:30 PM – Uniquely Yours Canvas “Hope Floats” Canvas for a Cure Fundraiser at Austin Eagles Club. To register, go to www.uniquelyyourscanvas.com.


For all PTTP events/details, go to www.hi.umn.edu and “Click for Pink.”



Kathi Finley

Director, “Paint the Town Pink”

507.460.0259; gopttp@gmail.com