It was revealed Tuesday afternoon that this year’s Paint the Town Pink raised $334,403. Photos by Eric Johnson/

Another record-breaking year for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research

Paint the Town Pink ends its 2019 campaign with yet another record-breaking year, raising $334,402 for innovative cancer research at The Hormel Institute. That increase of more than $25,000 over last year’s total brings the total raised by Paint the Town Pink since 2011 to over $1.77 million.

“These dollars are critically important and all who support PTTP join us on the front lines of helping us further discoveries that extend lives,” shared Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute.

“Together we are on the mission of research breakthroughs that prevent cancer or control it so people live longer.  From all of us at The Hormel Institute, thank you. This is a gift that will be used to benefit all people, everywhere.”

Many Paint the Town Pink fundraisers were back this year, including Plunging for Pink, Paint the Rink Pink, Fishing for a Cure, and many others both big and small. New events like the Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles concert for cancer research also joined Paint the Town Pink in 2019.

Absolute Energy and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s annual Pink at the Pump initiative brought awareness of The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research to E15 retailers across Iowa, North Dakota, and Missouri.

Thanks to The Hormel Foundation, every dollar donated to The Hormel Institute goes directly to research, none to administrative costs. This allows every penny The Hormel Institute receives from Paint the Town Pink to fund cancer research.

Funds raised by Paint the Town Pink go towards seed grants for researchers at The Hormel Institute to support innovative cancer research projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. This year’s Paint the Town Pink campaign “Every Dollar, Every Cancer, Every Person Matters” highlights the fact that these seed grants and other cancer research projects have found that research done on one cancer, like breast cancer, can make discoveries that affect many different cancers. And every dollar that Paint the Town Pink brings in brings us one step closer to finding answers to cancer.

Eight Paint the Town Pink seed grants are currently in their second year of funding at The Hormel Institute. These innovative projects are providing The Hormel Institute’s scientists with results they can use to apply for larger, national grants to continue their research into the future. Already, one of our Paint the Town Pink seed grant recipients has applied for a large grant from the National Institutes of Health based on seed grant research and is waiting to see if it has been approved.

Maegan Siebe, the 2019 Paint the Town Pink ambassador, knows how important cancer research is. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2013 and it really turned her world upside down. A young elementary school teacher, Maegan had to come to terms with what the diagnosis might mean for her future.

“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.”

Breast cancer research was incredibly important to Maegan’s treatment and story of survival. Research into the specific cancer she was diagnosed with, along with clinical trials she was a part of, helped her to beat the disease.

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

Paint the Town Pink is already looking toward next year with excitement. The 2020 campaign will mark the 10th year for Paint the Town Pink and two general cancer research grants will be awarded to HI scientists in addition to the 8 grants underway. Already ideas and plans are in the works and we invite the region to make it the biggest year yet. Watch for more announcements or contact PTTP with your ideas.