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‘We always rally’

As has become a tradition in recent years, The Hormel Institute was the host of Business After Hours Tuesday night and made it into a celebration of cancer research and Paint the Town Pink.

This year was a bit a different, though,  as those attending were faces on a computer screen — Zoom style.

But the message was the same — continue fighting against cancer.

“This is a partnership between the institute and the community,” Dr. Robert Clarke told those tuning into Tuesday night’s festivities. Clarke joined the Institute as its executive director this past August and is part of his first PTTP.

Though Tuesday’s message was one of hope and solidarity, there was no question of how changed this year’s PTTP will be. The stalwart events such as Plunging for Pink, Smashing Cancer Demolition Derby and Fishing For a Cure will not be held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Austin Bruins are still planning Paint the Rink Pink  and organizers are still working on planning events to continue the effort.

One such event that will be held on Feb. 6, will be The Great Paint The Town Pink Challenge. Information on what that will entail will be released soon.

The annual Business After Hours at the Institute is also a chance to introduce the PTTP ambassador and this year the ambassador is close to home -— Dr. Rebecca Morris.

Morris is a long-time scientist at the Institute who studies the role of bone marrow cells in epithelial cancers among other pursuits.

“It’s such and honor to be your Paint the Town Pink ambassador,” told those taking part over Zoom, however, technical difficulties prevented her from saying more.

While this year’s PTTP will look much different from years past,  Director Kathy Finley expressed the same hope and optimism all those involved have.

“The landscape of PTTP is obviously going to be different,” Finley said. “But like our community does, we always rally.