Innovative studies underway thanks to $1.5 million invested in cancer research

 Paint the Town Pink will kick into high gear for the 2019 season with its campaign “Every Dollar, Every Cancer, Every Person Matters” shared with events produced by the community.  The first annual public event of the year takes place on January 26 with Plunging for Pink, the polar plunge held annually at East Side Lake.

Even though Paint the Town Pink events now happen year round (and for  research benefitting many cancers), late January and early February still highlights the official Paint the Town Pink campaign. Austin and surrounding communities and states band together to support The Hormel Institute’s innovative research to further understand, prevent and control breast and other cancers.

“Every dollar from Paint the Town Pink is funding research that would not otherwise be possible,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute.

“The funding supports innovative studies that could lead to very important discoveries. It helps us explore new ideas and funds research data that could lead to major discoveries and large national grants to fund even more research. This support is very important to The Hormel Institute  – together are working to accelerate answers to cancer.”

Each year more and more communities have been joining Paint the Town Pink, and in 2018 several were added throughout Iowa, North Dakota and Missouri thanks to campaigns such as Pink at the Pump, led by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Participating E15 retailers in those states donated funds per gallon sold throughout the month of October.

Major popular events will be back this year, thanks to volunteers who spearhead and lead the fundraising activities:

Plunging for Pink – Jan 26 at 12:30 pm at East Side Lake

‘Paint the Air Pink’ KAUS Radiothon – Feb 1

Paint the Rink Pink – Feb 2 at 7:05 pm at Riverside Arena

Fishing for a Cure – Feb 9 at 12:00 noon at East Side Lake

Smashin’ for Cancer Demo Derby & YMCA 5k – Feb 10 at Mower County Fairgrounds

PTTP also includes MANY more events happening throughout the area and details and a full listing are available at For questions about events, to contribute or to add an event, please contact PTTP Director Kathi Finley at or The Hormel Institute at 437-9601.

Each year, PTTP selects an ambassador to help reflect and express the “why’ of supporting cancer research.  This year the 2019 Paint the Town Pink Ambassador is Maegan Siebe, a first grade teacher at Banfield Elementary. Maegan shared her story of surviving breast cancer at Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours held at The Hormel Institute on January 8, and talked about dealing with cancer as a young woman.

“Cancer was the furthest thing from my mind, and one of my main concerns was that the treatment would take me away from my young students and may prevent me from having children of my own,” Maegan told the crowd of about 140.

“Because of The Hormel Institute and research like this, I survived and became a mom and now have my own little girl.”

ABC 6 News is again partnering with The Hormel Institute in support of Paint the Town Pink and KAUS Radio will get the message out by holding its annual ‘Paint the Air Pink’ radiothon on February 1.

With every donation to Paint the Town Pink, 100% of the gift goes directly to cancer research thanks to the support of The Hormel Foundation. The Hormel Institute distributes seed grants to HI cancer researchers with Paint the Town Pink funds for innovative projects leading to major federal grants. With federal budgets threatening to be cut and research grants increasingly more competitive, the grants are highly valued. And while “PINK” is the color and the cancer research grants focus on breast cancer, the data and discoveries can support all cancers.

Every dollar, every cancer, every person matters.