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Austin girls see pink

Though the Austin girls’ basketball team faces Albert Lea this Thursday, Packer girls won’t be seeing red when they play against their rivals. If students and parents have their way, the basketball teams should see a lot of pink.

Austin High School will Paint the Gym Pink starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Ove Berven gym, part of Austin’s Paint the Town Pink event this week in which local business and organizations raise money for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research. Though there won’t be any painting involved, residents are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research.

“We think it’s important to teach them those values early, that it’s important to support your community,” said Lisa Quednow-Bickler, Austin’s activities director.

This isn’t the first time Austin’s girls basketball has raised awareness for cancer research. In fact, this Thursday marks the third year the girls basketball booster club organized a fundraising night for cancer-related causes. The booster club put on Coaches Vs. Cancer events as part of the American Cancer Society’s campaign for the past two years, but booster club members didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to support the Hormel Institute this year.

“We wanted to participate this year in the Paint the Town Pink events,” said Mary Svoboda, booster club co-chair.

The girls will be wearing pink warm-up gear along with pink shoelaces for the games. They’ll also warm up with pink basketballs prior to tip-off, which will be raffled off alongside other popular items like fleece blankets, a custom pink Packer bleacher chair and other items donated by local businesses. Students will also get the chance to win prizes during a halftime hoop shoot as well.

Students will be doing their part earlier Thursday, as AHS could possibly do a Penny Wars for the Hormel Institute. In addition, students and staff can purchase special pink T-shirts to wear to the game Thursday, with proceeds going to the Institute.

Booster club members typically raise about $400 to $600 each year, but Svoboda said showing support for cancer research would be the main goal Thursday night.

“It’s basically getting everybody to show their support by wearing pink,” she said.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.