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The 32nd Annual Prouty Bike, Walk, Row and Golf Against Cancer Sets Fundraising and Registration Records

July 15, 2013
Hanover, NH

The 32nd Annual Prouty Bike, Walk, Row, and Golf Against Cancer  raised an all-time day-of-event high of $2.6 million for cancer research and patient services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.  Additional donations are expected in the coming days, which will add to the record-setting total.

More than 5,800 cyclists, walkers, rowers, and golfers signed up for The Prouty this year, exceeding last year's total of 5,500.  Beginning early this morning, roads up and down the Upper Valley, on both the New Hampshire and Vermont sides of the Connecticut River, grew crowded with Spandex-clad bicyclists riding distances of 100, 77, 50, 35, or 20 miles, all to support the Cancer Center.

Meanwhile, in town, walkers set out through Hanover, N.H., on wooded or residential routes between three and 20 kilometers, forming small armies in pink, purple, and red T-shirts emblazoned with team names like Anna's Angels, Courtyard Cruisers, or Jacob's Jamboree. Out on the Connecticut River, Prouty rowers in sweeps and sculls cut gracefully through the water while the bicyclists rode along the riverbank and across bridges overhead. The juxtaposed sight of these two Prouty activities is one of the most memorable of the year in northern New England.

Organizers say golf attracted 140 new participants this year who played on the Hanover Country Club links adjacent to the event's day-of headquarters.

It was an event for people of all ages and abilities. Families, co-workers, Dartmouth sororities and fraternities, Dartmouth-Hitchcock doctors and nurses - literally thousands of people, many from far beyond New England, joined together today to become The Prouty. Participants took to the roads in every conceivable kind of self-propelled wheeled vehicle: bicycles and bicycles with kid trailers, baby carriages, unicycles, wheelchairs, and scooters. Walkers dazzled the sidewalks with bright shoes and socks. All the walking and riding participants crossed the event's hallmark finish line, a massive rainbow arch of brilliantly colored balloons.

Every participant had a reason for being there. Many chose to express their inspiration on bright yellow ribbons decorating the finish line: "For my brave husband," "Dad we love you always," and "Mom stay strong."

"Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and it can make you feel helpless," said Jean Brown, event director. "The Prouty is a way you can challenge yourself physically and feel good about doing something about cancer."
 

Hanover's Richmond Middle School served as Prouty Central. As if the circus came to town, tents went up overnight.  In the morning, food tents featured thousands of donated burritos, bagels, grinders, burgers, and pizza slices. Other tents offered live music, shaded tables, professional massage, first aid, and kids' activities. Iced beverages everywhere kept everyone hydrated in the 80-degree heat. A light breeze and cloud cover helped keep the thousands of volunteers, participants, and spectators comfortable.

The Discovery Tent gave participants an inside look at the latest scientific cancer research. Scientists field-tested equipment to measure radiation in people's teeth and fingernails, which act like 'radiation badges.'  This technology, called electronic paramagnetic resonance (EPR), developed by Dartmouth, is for rapid field deployment in the event of a nuclear disaster. The equipment makes fast, accurate assessments of radiation exposure to triage patients in a disaster. The Prouty serves as an ideal setting each year to field-test EPR.

Other scientists, whose research has been funded by The Prouty, displayed posters describing their research findings. Their studies identified a new combination of drugs for leukemia, that an over-the-counter nutritional supplement may help fight breast cancer, and that a common osteoporosis medication did not increase risk of esophageal cancer. From eight and 10 scientific studies are funded each year with monies raised by The Prouty.

"Over $1.2 million dollars in seed grant money supplied by the Prouty has generated $20 million in external support for our cancer research," said Brown. "The science is that good."

The event also funds quality-of-life patient services such as massage, writing-for-healing workshops, support groups, and patient libraries.

"There are as many reasons for doing The Prouty as there are participants. People who have lost a parent, had a child afflicted by cancer, or a neighbor be diagnosed are all here today," said Mark Israel, MD, director, Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "This is a way to stand up and be counted in the fight against cancer. It is life-changing."

Prouty images available for download
B-Roll and sound bites available by request to Donna.M.Dubuc@Dartmouth.edu
Sound bite spokesperson identification:
  • Jean Brown, Event Director, The Prouty
  • Mark Israel, MD, Executive Director, Norris Cotton Cancer Center
The Prouty History

The Prouty was started in 1982 by four Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center nurses of patient Audrey Prouty, of Warren, N.H., to honor her courage in fighting ovarian cancer. "It was the sight of Audrey facing her cancer every day with such incredible courage that inspired us to challenge ourselves with a 100-mile ride," said Patty Carney, one of those four nurses. That first year they raised $4,000. For more information, visit TheProuty.org.

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester, Nashua, and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, Vt., and at 12 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is recognized and designated by the National Cancer Institute for its breadth and depth as one of just 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at cancer.dartmouth.edu.

For more information contact Donna Dubuc at (603) 653-3615.

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