2nd annual citywide initiative supports The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research
Austin’s 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink” has raised more than $110,500 for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research, with donations still coming in.
Organizers with “Paint the Town Pink” joined representatives from some of the biggest fundraisers today at The Hormel Institute to announce the current grant total. Last year, the first “Paint the Town Pink” raised more than $62,500.
Led by the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, the “Paint the Town Pink” citywide initiative not only grew this year in its fundraising level for breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute but also expanded its activities and pink participation throughout the community.
“Paint the Town Pink” funds will go 100 percent directly to supporting The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge research into ways to prevent and control breast cancer. By matching these funds with other funds from cancer research foundations and the University of Minnesota, The Hormel Institute has purchased technology that can be used to accelerate breast cancer research.
“This now annual support from the Austin community is so very encouraging and an important source of added research funding,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “We appreciate the hard work that went into these events, the generosity of those who supported them and we will do our part to make sure the funds are carefully used to maximize their effectiveness as we further breast cancer research and discoveries.”
A local steering committee created “Paint the Town Pink” in 2012 as an extension of the Austin Bruins hockey team’s “Paint the Rink Pink” fundraising game to benefit The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research. Each year, pink flags and pink ribbons have been featured throughout Austin during “Paint the Town Pink,” as various businesses and organizations offered pink-related fundraisers and activities from Feb. 1-10.
Major contributions that are part of the current overall “Paint the Town Pink” total include nearly $40,000 from the Austin Bruins’ 3rd annual “Paint the Rink Pink” game; more than $16,100 from the first “Plunging for Pink” polar plunge at East Side Lake; and $13,734 from the 11th annual “Fishing for a Cure” ice fishing contest also at East Side Lake. Hormel Foods Corp. employees at the Austin plant and corporate office also raised more than $10,000 combined this year for the Institute’s breast cancer research through “Paint the Town Pink.”
Representatives from The Hormel Institute, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Austin, Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, Paramount Theatre, Vision 2020 Waterways Committee and other volunteers led the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink.” Local leaders started the first “Paint the Town Pink” in 2012 after the Austin Bruins’ first “Paint the Rink Pink” game drew a sellout crowd of nearly 2,000 people and raised over $22,000 for the Institute’s breast cancer research in February 2011. The “Paint the Town Pink” committee worked with local volunteers, organizations and businesses on new fundraising events as well as created and distributed pink cardboard ribbons and pink flags throughout the city, among other things.
Jeff Baldus, of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, and his wife Kris have donated pink flags posted in front of The Hormel Institute and throughout downtown Austin and elsewhere during “Paint the Town Pink.”
This year’s “Paint the Rink Pink” on Feb. 2 drew another sellout crowd and overall now has raised more than $100,000 in three years for the Institute’s breast cancer research, mainly through its highly successful post-game auction of each Bruins player’s specially made jersey featuring pink.
Organizers plan to bring “Paint the Town Pink” back again in 2014 and hope to make it an even larger citywide event. Businesses, organizations and others who have ideas or would like to participate in next year’s “Paint the Town Pink” are encouraged to contact the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau at 437-4563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hormel Institute is a world-renowned medical research center in Austin specializing in research leading to cancer prevention and control.