Weekend events wrap up 2016 Paint the Town Pink

Ellis Middle School students will show off their own “cancer research” and creative and scientific minds on Friday as scientists from The Hormel Institute judge decorated doors, a project for Paint the Town Pink to raise cancer awareness. Each Ellis classroom studied a different type of cancer and designed classroom doors with statistics, information and graphics so students will learn about the many types of cancers.

“This is a great opportunity for students to research both common and rare types of cancers, what causes the cancer and importantly for them, how to prevent or detect that cancer,” said Eric Vaughn, Ellis teacher and Student Council director who has led the effort for two years. “The students get very creative and it is a positive learning and leadership experience for all Ellis students, their families, as well as the Ellis staff.”

Dr. Sergio Gradilone, who heads the Cancer Cell Biology and Translational Research lab at The Hormel Institute, will serve as a guest speaker during assemblies at Ellis on Friday. Dr. Gradilone will teach 7th and 8th graders about The Hormel Institute and the research conducted by his lab, as well as inspire their interest in science and health related education and future careers.

The official 2016 Paint the Town Pink festivities will wrap up this weekend.
Area ice fishers of all ages will gather at East Side Lake on Saturday for the “Fishing for a Cure” ice fishing tournament that will run from 12-2 p.m. The $10 entry fee includes drilled holes, bait, tickets for door prizes, and a meal. Prize raffles and a meal will be served at the Eagles Club following the tournament to further the fundraising effort.

The Mower County Fair Board will host host two events on Sunday at the fairgrounds. The YMCA All-Colors 5K Walk/Run will begin at 11 a.m.  Registration is available on the YMCA website or at the fairgrounds from 10-11 a.m. before the race. Participants are encouraged to wear the color of the cancer they are supporting/fighting against. Last year’s walk/run recruited over 60 participants.

The 3rd annual “Smashing Cancer” Demolition Derby organized by the Mower County Fair Board will begin at 2 p.m. at the Mower County Fairgrounds grandstand. 500 people filled the grandstand at last year’s events and over 40 cars took part in the derby.

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. 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.