Posted at: 10/16/2013 11:02 PM
Updated at: 10/16/2013 11:04 PM
By: John Doetkott
'Pink Out' Keeps Focus On Finding A Cure
(ABC 6 News) -- The Austin High School football team took on Mankato East on Wednesday night, but perhaps the biggest battle wasn't on the field, but in the stands.
Even hours before the game, fans decked out in pink crowded the area outside Hass Stadium, ready for the school's second annual "Pink Out” night.
“It's just amazing how many people show up for these events,” said Sara Gilberg, a breast cancer survivor and special education teacher at Austin High School.
Gilberg said she owes her life to the kind of research that fans were raising money for on Wednesday night.
“Twelve years ago I was enrolled in a study that was a successful study,” Gilberg said. “They had developed a new drug that I believe saved my life."
With Austin's “Paint the Town Pink” event still several months away, organizers said they wanted to make sure residents didn't lose their spirit and commitment to beating breast cancer.
“I just think our community has just really embraced this breast cancer awareness with the Hormel Institute being here,” said Dawn Kempen, a member of the team’s booster club. “This is just the kickoff for what's going to happen all year long."
Organizers said keeping awareness efforts going throughout the year is critical to making sure research organizations have the funding they need.
And with hundreds of fans showing their support on Wednesday night, it’s an effort not lost on survivors like Gilberg.
“I am just thankful for anything that people do to support breast cancer research,” Gilberg said. “It's really nice and it's very heartwarming."
All of the money raised at the game will go to the Hormel Institute.
The event raised around $800 last year, and even before the game organizers said they had already more than doubled that amount.