Institute steps toward a cure for cancer

Published 10:10 am Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jeff Baldus, second from right, with the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce talks about the upcoming additions to Freedom Fest that includes a new collaboration with the Hormel Institute. - Eric Johnson/

Local residents will be walking for a purpose on July 2. They’ll walk for a future free of cancer.

The Hormel Institute announced Thursday the first annual “Walk for a Cancer Free World.” The walk, from the Institute to Austin’s Bandshell Park during Freedom Fest, will help raise money and awareness for the Institute’s cancer research.

“We are on the front lines of that battle,” said Gail Dennison, Hormel Institute’s public relations director.

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The 3.5-mile walk carries significant meaning for Dr. Yibin Deng, who lost his wife to cancer last year. Deng will walk with his three daughters this year.

Tim Ruzek, communications representative of the Hormel Institute, talks about the "Walk for a Cancer Free World," new this year to Austin's Freedom Fest. - Eric Johnson/

“More people will know that cancer research is important,” Deng said. “We can work together to get rid of cancer.”

The walk will take place Saturday, July 2, from 2 to 3 p.m. There will be stations along the route with information about the Institute’s cancer research and what nontoxic, natural compounds can be used to prevent and control cancer.

There’s more entertainment at Bandshell Park, as a “Legends of Country and Rock” concert will take place from 4 to 7 p.m., along with food vendors and carnival games.

The event is sponsored by the Institute and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Participants can register at the Chamber’s downtown office. Early registration for $8 per person ends June 24 and includes a T-shirt. Registration will cost $10 after that. Participants can register the day of the event from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Institute.

“I don’t know if there’s any one thing in Austin this community is more behind than the Hormel Institute,” said Sandy Forstner, Chamber of Commerce chair.