Walk The Prouty!

This year's Prouty will be the 20th anniversary of The Prouty Walk – a great way to enjoy Prouty Day (July 14) and support the Cancer Center.

The Prouty has grown from a fundraising bike ride to encompass walking, rowing – even a virtual Prouty – in addition to biking.

Focus article photo

Over 30 years, The Prouty has raised more than $14M to support cancer research and patient services at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

In fact, this year's Prouty, the 31st, marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of walking as a key Prouty element.

The Prouty Walk, Bike and Row against Cancer, will be held on July 14 in Hanover, NH. The event site will be Richmond Middle School on State Highway 10 (63 Lyme Road), as in past years.

"Walking The Prouty is a great way to enjoy the company of fellow Prouty participants while experiencing this beautiful area," says Jean Brown, executive director of Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center and event director of The Prouty. "Not everyone wants to hop on a bike or jump into a rowing scull. Some people love to just walk. It can be a wonderfully quiet and meditative way to help fight cancer."

Walks go through the beautiful environs of Hanover and the Upper Connecticut River Valley.  Distances include the 3k Audrey's Walk around Occom Pond, residential 5 and 10k walks through the town, and lovely wooded walks of 5 and 10k segments. People are also invited to put different lengths together to create longer walks. For maps, event information and to register, the website——is open.

New this year

This year's 20th Prouty Walk features a special challenge. The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation has made a pledge that could raise as much as an extra $15,000 for the Cancer Center. Last year there were 1,400 walkers who participated in The Prouty. This year, for every walker more than 1,400 the Foundation will donate an extra $50 beyond what the participants raise themselves as a general Prouty donation, up to a maximum of 300 additional walkers beyond the 1,400 threshold.

Beyond raising money, event organizers will mark the walk anniversary with a number of changes designed to enhance the walking experience:

  • Walkers will return to The Prouty headquarters on their own red carpeted,  walkers-only lane under the balloon arch;
  • A new "celebrity walk" will offer people the chance to walk the 3K Audrey's Walk with Mark Israel, MD, an honorary Prouty co-chair and the Cancer Center's director for the past 10 years;
  • For the first time ever, residential- and wooded-route walkers will begin and end their walks on the same route, a move that organizers hope will increase the level of interaction and camaraderie between the two groups; and,
  • A special Prouty Totem Pole that will give large groups of walkers a place to gather before embarking on their routes.
$14 million for cancer research and patient support

The Prouty was started by four nurses in honor of their patient, Audrey Prouty.  The year Audrey died, 1982, the four women vowed to cycle a 100 miles through the White Mountains to raise money and awareness for cancer research.  They raised $4,000.  After the first two years, they moved the ride to the Connecticut River Valley, where it has been located ever since. All levels of athletes and non-athletes are encouraged to participate through a wide selection of outdoor activities.  Over the years, The Prouty has raised more than $14M to support cancer research and patient services at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in northern New England.

"However you want to Prouty, come on out and enjoy the fun!" says Brown. "You almost can't have more fun than Prouty-ing—and it's all for a great, great cause."

May 29, 2012