AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- Hundreds gathered Sunday for some metal on metal battles in Austin, all in the name of a different kind of fight, the one against cancer, as part of the week-long Paint the Town Pink event.
The engines were revving and the crowd was roaring as derby drivers from across Minnesota went bumper to bumper for breast cancer research.
"It's a way that the community can give to that research that goes beyond our doors and through our publishing reaches cancer research and makes progress you know further around the world," said Gail Dennison of the Hormel Institute.
It's Austin's fourth annual Paint the Town Pink week to support the crusade against cancer, and this year, hundreds of volunteers decided to take that battle to the Mower County Fairgrounds in the first annual Smashing Cancer demolition derby.
"It was an idea that came up at one of our steering committee meetings and they brought up a video, and it's like, gosh that looks kind of fun and we have a great place we could do that at," said Kathi Finley, director of Paint the Town Pink.
Over 400 attendees flocked the stands to witness the gritty and sometimes merciless action.
One lucky winner of the Smashing Cancer raffle, Jesse Crews, got to represent the pink spirit by driving the pink demo derby engine which was tattooed with the signatures and fond notes of those affected by this deadly disease.
"I've known a lot of friends that have dealt with it, so any time we can help out for fundraiser stuff you know," said Crews.
Sales from that raffle alone raised $3,500 from over 750 tickets. Last year, the event, which is partnered with the Hormel Institute, raised $116,000 for cancer research last year. This year they are aiming even higher to $150,000 for the cause.
As the event continues to grow, so does the community's support.
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