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Pink Park City charity ski event raised nearly $80K their inaugural year for the Huntsman Cancer Institute

Image: Charles Uibel

Pink Park City started off the annual spring festivities at Park City Mountain with a big bang. People came out in droves dressed in their finest pink costumes and ski regalia to enjoy on mountain games, prizes, challenges, a Celebration of Life parade, and more. The charity ski event was a partnership between the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Vail Corporation to conquer cancer and people really stepped up to the plate. Approximately 250 people registered for the event and, instead of simply meeting the fundraising goal of $50,000, the Park City community smashed the bar by bringing in nearly $80,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. 

It's hard to believe that Pink Park City was only in the works since December. The idea for the event came from co-chair of Pink Park City and Huntsman patient and cancer survivor Holly Hagerman. After one of her treatments, Hagerman went on a ski trip to Colorado where she encountered Pink Vail, a fundraiser for the Shaw Cancer Center. "I was so touched by the passion and a community coming together to support cancer research," said Hagerman. "With two iconic brands, Vail Corporation and Huntsman Cancer Institute, I knew that this would be a perfect event for the Park City community."

For Diane Tanner, a cancer survivor and Hagerman's fellow co-chair of Pink Park City, the event was very personal. Although her family has only lived in Park City for three years, she has a long connection with the town that goes back to childhood when she head a season pass here. "We absolutely love Park City and believe this is the perfect event for this community - an opportunity to be outside hitting the slopes while also raising funds for cancer research," said Tanner. "One of the most emotional moments of the event for me was during the Rally of Hope parade when a member of the Park City Mountain Resort team, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment and is unable to ski, was brought down the hill in a toboggan by her friends, co-workers, and teammates. To me, that was what this event was about, lifting each other up and getting out there to raise funds for cancer research so more people can have a happy ending."

Thanks to the generosity of the Huntsman family, 100 percent of the money raised during Pink Park City will go directly into supporting cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Private philanthropy funds the most innovative new ideas in the field, including the following 2017 discoveries: 

  • A new way to block the bone destruction caused by metastatic breast cancer.
  • A new type of lung cancer and identified a promising new way to treat this disease.
  • We led a national study that tested a new way to treat late-stage melanoma by activating a patient’s immune response--- This novel and promising approach was approved by the FDA in October 2017.
  • We showed that we can safely reduce radiation therapy from 30 to 15 sessions for certain breast cancer patients. For Katie Peterson of Orem, this meant half the travel, half the expense, and most importantly, twice the time to spend with her husband and six children.

Thanks to the overwhelming success of the first Pink Park City, both Hagerman and Tanner are sure the event will grow significantly for next year. "This event touched everyone involved, the Park City community, cancer fighters, survivors, thrivers and everyone that has been impacted by cancer," said Hagerman. "There was such a sense of community, feeling of hope for a future without cancer and a celebration of life."

We're already looking forward to seeing Pink Park City become one of those iconic Park City events you can't miss. 

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