The Prouty Wants You!

The best volunteer job at the biggest fundraiser in northern New England? Refuse engineer, of course! Join The Prouty Green Team at the greenest event in the East.

What do Prouty Volunteers do?

Focus article photo

Prouty Green Team volunteers guide people to use the proper disposal bins in an effort to produce a zero-waste event. Last year, 97 percent of the trash was eliminated with the help of dozens of volunteers. Photo by Mark Pfeil.

According to "official" Prouty information, here are just a few of the volunteer tasks:

Lifters and movers of crates of supplies, sign installers (and removers), computer cord setter-uppers, table arrangers, bike rack assemblers, shipment accepters, cooler washers, Prouty Ultimate rovers, HAM operators, yogurt and baked goods picker-uppers, banner hanger-uppers, water bottle deliverers, tablecloth layers, Prouty Ultimate bellhops, rover vehicle loaders, balloon-arch cheerers, masseuses, parking lot attendants, Dresden Road barricade guarders, safety pin counters, photographers, videographers, greeters, registration pros, registration troubleshooters, bankers, ProutyGear awarders, T-shirt and tattoo distributors, survivor and kids' free raffle administrators, yellow ribbon facilitators, exit greeters, check-inners, information providers, and inventory counters and recorders—to list just a representative sample.

The Prouty, in fact, brings together more than 1,100 volunteers to help support more than 5,000 participants in the largest fundraising event in northern New England.

But one of the most important jobs for volunteers at the annual Prouty and Prouty Ultimate might seem like the least glamorous: refuse engineer. Trash collector, in other words. But it's one of the best jobs of the whole event.

Zero waste

Why? Because The Prouty is "green" to the extreme. The Prouty's "Zero Waste" effort makes a substantial contribution to enhancing the Prouty experience. While The Prouty's mission is to raise funds to support patient services and cancer research at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, participants and volunteers also pursue another admirable goal by attempting to eliminate all waste during the event.

Since its inception in 2009, The Prouty's Zero Waste program has seen marked improvements in its ability to recycle and compost. An estimated 85 percent of event waste was attained that first year; in 2010 the portion went up to 95 percent.  Recycling totals for 2010 included an estimated 1.5 tons of recyclables and over 1 ton of compostable material. While The Prouty's initial recycling and composting efforts focused on the main venue located at the Richmond Middle School in Hanover, the bike and walk SAG (Stop and Go) stops have also been tasked to participate.

Green team volunteers

Making the difference in the success of the program are the committed Green Team Volunteers who help to educate and assist participants at every recycling station. They also help direct, collect, and sort material throughout the day. Each year The Prouty receives overwhelming support and positive feedback on a job well done for going the extra mile to implement the goal of Zero Waste. The Green Team volunteers truly earn the praise they are given.

The assistance of our corporate sponsors Earthtenders and Northeast Waste has been instrumental in helping The Prouty realize a goal of becoming a fully "green" event. Earthtenders brought not only their composting expertise and "greening" experience but took charge of implementing and managing the all-important Prouty Green Team volunteers. Northeast Waste provided expertise, then delivered the residual materials to  either their own Zero-Sort® Recycling facility or to other appropriate composting facilities.

As the signature event of the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Prouty's mission is to help find a cure for cancer by funding patient services and cancer research. Quietly, however, we are trying to negate the negative consequences of hosting an event with nearly 6,000 participants and volunteers by being responsible and implementing our Zero Waste program.  With the help of our friendly Green Team Volunteers and our corporate sponsors, we hope to build upon the positive outcome we've enjoyed over the years for an even greener Prouty future.

And no matter how you might choose to volunteer, being part of The Prouty as a volunteer is an experience of immeasurable reward. It's fun, it's outdoors, it's hard work – it's glamorous! Learn more about volunteering at The Prouty by clicking Prouty Volunteers.

June 18, 2012