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Northern New England's Largest Charity Fundraiser Draws Record Crowd

28th Annual Prouty Bike Ride and Challenge Walk Raises $1.93 Million for Cancer Research

July 20, 2009

2009 Prouty

The Prouty finish line at the Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH.

The 28th Annual Prouty Bike Ride & Challenge Walk, which took place on July 11, in Hanover, NH, drew 4,700 bikers and walkers and more than 900 volunteers to the annual charity fundraiser. This is a gain of 500 participants and 200 volunteers in what is referred to as the largest charity fundraiser in northern New England.

Together, riders, walkers and corporate sponsors raised more than $1.93 million for cancer research and patient services at nationally-recognized Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. A long-standing community event, The Prouty offers people the chance to bike twenty, thirty-five, fifty, or one-hundred miles or walk five, ten, fifteen, or twenty kilometers through the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Last year, the event raised a record $2.1 million.

"The growth of The Prouty this year took us all by surprise," said Mark Israel, MD, Director of the Cancer Center. "With the economic downturn, we expected a significant drop in participation and fundraising. We are honored and inspired by the tremendous effort people have made to raise funds for cancer research and care on behalf of family and friends affected by cancer."

Participants from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Thirty-Three States

Of the 4,700 total, New Hampshire had the most participants at 2,267. More than 1,375 came from Vermont, Massachusetts sent more than 354 participants, and New York, Connecticut and Maine each sent close to 100 people. Other states represented were Alaska, Washington, Utah, and Idaho, as well as California, Colorado, Texas, and twenty other states.

"People are looking for a way to make a difference in the fight against cancer," said Jean Brown, executive director of the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Prouty event director. "Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of the best in the country, so challenging oneself to raise money here can feel good to everyone." The minimum that must be raised to participate in The Prouty is $150 for an individual or $275 for a family.

Prouty Ultimate Back-to-Back Century Triples in Size

The 2nd Annual Prouty Ultimate also saw significant growth going from twenty riders in 2008-its inaugural year-to sixty-seven in 2009. This premier event also drew people from around the country including riders from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Maryland, New Hampshire and Vermont. Starting in Manchester, NH, the riders cycled up to Hanover through the beautiful Sunapee area countryside on Friday, July 10, then joined the Prouty Century loop on Saturday, July 11. The minimum for The Prouty Ultimate is $2,500.

Background

The Prouty was started in 1982 by four nurses of patient Audrey Prouty, of Warren, NH, to mark her courage in fighting ovarian cancer. Patty Carney was one of the original four nurses. "It was the sight of Audrey facing her cancer everyday with such incredible courage that inspired us to challenge ourselves with a 100 mile ride," said Carney. That first year they raised $4,000.

About Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Established in 1972, Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of only forty Comprehensive Cancer Centers as designated by the National Cancer Institute and the only one in northern New England. It is the only academic medical center in New Hampshire, and combines extensive cancer research at Dartmouth Medical School with advanced patient care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, St. Johnsbury, VT, Manchester, NH, and through eleven other regional locations and partnerships with community hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.