Archived Story

Bruins get ready to ‘Paint the Rink Pink’

Published 8:06am Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Austin Bruins and the Hormel Institute have devised a plan to raise at least $5,000 for breast cancer research.

When the Bruins take on Coulee Region Saturday, Feb. 5, spectators are in for a change.

“Paint the Rink Pink,” is what the Bruins’ Melissa Tok, manager of business operations, and Stephanie Bowe, account executive, created for the cause.

Along with all-pink ice, spectators will see pink jerseys and have a chance to take part in silent and live auctions.

“It’s just going to be a fun night — especially with the ice being pink,” Tok said.

It’s not the first time anything like this has been done before. Topeka’s hockey team had previously painted its rink orange to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. And the Bruins have coordinated fundraising efforts before, too. But this time, they wanted to stand out.

Considering breast cancer has affected the family members of three Bruins players, the event is very special to the team.

Although breast cancer awareness month is in October, Tok and Bowe decided to hold the event near Valentine’s Day.

So on Friday, Feb. 4, a crew will install two layers of pink paint under the ice, resurface it and get ready for Saturday’s game.

When the game gets underway, players will hit the ice wearing all-pink jerseys sponsored by the Hormel Institute.

During the first intermission, representatives from the Hormel Institute will hold a presentation on the ice about breast cancer. Local cancer survivors will speak as well.

Throughout the event, spectators can participate in a silent auction that includes items from local organizations.

But the event won’t end when the game is over.

The team will sell each pink jersey during a live, on-ice auction, an event held by Dave Thompson of Farmer’s Insurance Agency.

“You can actually leave the game that night with your favorite player’s jersey right off his back,” Bowe said.

The Bruins have worked closely with Gail Dennison and Tim Ruzek of the Hormel Institute’s communication department to put everything together.

“We’re just very glad for the Austin Bruin’s interest in breast cancer research right here in Austin,” Ruzek. “I encourage everyone to wear pink.”

Ruzek added spectators don’t have to buy anything to support the event either. They can donate any amount during the game.

All proceeds from the event go toward breast cancer research at the Hormel Institute.

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