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Drag models to raise money for Institute, cancer research

Published 10:15am Thursday, February 7, 2013

It’s one color per cause on the catwalk this weekend.

The third annual Red, White and Pink event, hosted by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, will take place at Oak Park Mall Saturday. Informational booths with tips on heart health, cancer prevention and general wellness open at 9:30 a.m., followed by a runway show at 10:30 a.m. Anyone in the community can suggest a friend, family member or coworker to dress in women’s clothing.

“You can nominate someone for $10, and they get dressed up in red, white and pink clothing,” said Laura Tjomsland, financial associate with Thrivent. “Then we deck them out in cool clothes and send them out and about.”

The models, whose outfits typically include hats and purses, go around Austin collecting donations and raising awareness. Last year, 27 models participated. Though they were primarily male, Tjomsland said women are also welcome to walk the runway.

About 20 people have been nominated so far this year, she said. Nominations will be allowed up until the runway event begins.

Though the event takes place this year during Paint the Town Pink, it started as an independent function three years ago. The American Heart Association challenged Thrivent to do something out of the ordinary to raise awareness for heart-related health issues, Tjomsland said, and this event was their response. So far, it has gone well; more than $3,000 was raised at last year’s event, she said.

A chili feed will also take place at the event. Funds raised will go to the Lyle Area Cancer Fund and will ultimately fund research at The Hormel Institute.

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