PINK efforts throughout region support Institute’s breast cancer research

PTTP 2016 - The Hormel Institute

Leaders and scientists with The Hormel Institute, “Paint the Town Pink” steering committee, and 2016 PTTP ambassadors unveil the 2016 “Paint the Town Pink” grand total to date of $272,000 in the Institute lobby.

More than $272,000 was raised in support of cutting-edge breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, through the 6th annual “Paint the Town Pink” fundraising campaign.  Event leaders set a goal last year of $200,000 and it was surpassed through multiple towns’ efforts, generous donors and a lot of pink.

“It is just amazing to see the people, businesses and organizations come out to support cancer research through Paint the Town Pink,” said PTTP director Kathi Finley. “It brings people together because we are all touched by cancer one way or another. To do something that makes a positive difference is just the right thing to do.”

Leaders with The Hormel Institute and the “Paint the Town Pink” steering committee unveiled the 2016 PTTP grand total to date of $272,000 while joined by 2016 PTTP ambassadors and representatives from PTTP fundraisers in the Institute lobby. That amount – mostly raised during the official PTTP weeks of Jan. 30-Feb. 14 – topped the goal of $200,000 and was much higher than the $191,000 raised in 2015.

In just six years, “Paint the Town Pink” has raised more than $825,000 overall in support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research in Austin. Funds will once again be distributed mainly to “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, as well as some of the funds for new technology.

“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 to make progress so cancer can be prevented and also so people can enjoy longer, healthier lives.”

This year’s top fundraising events were the 4th annual “Plunging for Pink” polar plunge at East Side Lake, supported by AgStar Financial Services; the Austin Bruins’ 6th annual “Paint the Rink Pink” hockey game; the Hormel Foods Austin Plant’s fundraising; and the annual “Fishing for a Cure” ice fishing contest.

Other highlights from this year’s PTTP included Sterling Drug’s cancer awareness initiative that sold pink breast cancer pins and spread PTTP throughout the region at the company’s 17 stores throughout Minnesota and Iowa; the Mower County Fair Board organizing the winter demolition derby at the fairgrounds’ grandstand; the “Strides for a Cure” and YMCA 5Ks; and the Austin High School winter sports teams hosting “pink” fundraisers.

The communities of Adams, Brownsdale and Rose Creek all hosted their own “Paint the Town Pink” weekends.

“Every year, this cause has grown in events, participants and donations,” said Gail Dennison, Director of Development and Public Relations for The Hormel Institute. “It is inspiring to see more individuals, families, businesses, and communities become involved and passionate about raising funds for The Hormel Institute’s research. Research is the only answer to cancer and we can be proud of the growth of this effort to support The Hormel Institute.”

PTTP organizers are seeking ideas for improving and growing “Paint the Town Pink” in 2017, including continuing to expand PTTP into other communities. Anyone with ideas or who would like to participate in next year’s “Paint the Town Pink” are encouraged to contact PTTP director Kathi Finley at 507-460-0259 or