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Prouty Sets Goal of $2.0 Million for 2008

April 14, 2008

As The Prouty Century Bike Ride & Challenge Walk heads into its 27th year it is showing no signs of slowing down. Program organizers have officially set a fundraising goal of $2.0 million for the mid-July 2008 event, the proceeds of which go to support research and patient services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center. They have also announced that this year's event co-chairs will be New Hampshire First Lady Dr. Susan Lynch, M.D. and Susan DeBevoise Wright, Executive Director of Dartmouth's Montgomery Endowment and wife of Dartmouth President James Wright.

The first Prouty ride was held in 1982, when four DHMC nurses biked 100 miles in New Hampshire's White Mountains to honor their patient, Audrey Prouty, and raised $4,000 in support of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Over the past 26 years, The Prouty has raised more than $6.25 million dollars, with just under $3 million of that coming in the last two years alone.

"There's always a little trepidation when you set an ambitious goal," says Jean Brown, Executive Director of the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "But support for The Prouty continues to grow each year, both at the individual and corporate levels. Two million dollars is a lofty goal, but because of the passion for this cause we believe that we'll get the support we need to reach it."

As the event has grown, so has its impact on research and patient services at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "The Prouty provides vital support for two important areas of focus for us," says Norris Cotton Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark A. Israel, M.D., "including research funding for bright scientists who are developing innovative approaches in cancer, and supportive services for cancer patients that truly can make a difference in their wellbeing and healing. This sustained show of support by our community through the Prouty is both gratifying and humbling."

In 2007, more than 3,500 people participated, including New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and First Lady Dr. Susan Lynch. Many bikers and walkers were on one of 283 teams that formed to honor a family member or friend battling cancer, or who recently died from the disease. Brown said the final total included more than 19,000 individual contributions as well as $180,000 from 81 businesses.

Brown added that she continues to be most surprised and gratified by the growth of the event outside the boundaries of New Hampshire and Vermont's Upper Valley region. "It is amazing to see support coming from throughout the United States," Brown said. Participants last year hailed from 30 states, and we received donations from every state in the union and beyond."

Bikers and walkers can register for this year's Prouty, set for Saturday, July 12, at www.theprouty.org