More than 4,400 cyclists, walkers, rowers, and golfers raised a record-breaking $3.3 million today in Hanover at The 38th Annual Prouty, the largest charity challenge north of Boston. Each year on the second weekend in July people from all over the country join together to raise money for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). Money raised provides funding for pilot projects in cancer research, equipment for research labs and patient and family supportive services, which provides services like massage, reiki, creative arts and support groups.
This year sunshine and comfortable summer temperatures contributed to the festive mood as participants walked or cycled through neighborhoods and roads in New Hampshire and Vermont, rowed on the Connecticut River, or took to the links at the Hanover Country Club.
Under the huge balloon-arch over the finish line thousands of people were putting away their bicycles, sharing stories with old and new friends, swarming the food tent, chatting with team-mates on the grass, enjoying reiki or taking a post-event yoga class. The party-like atmosphere was seen at tables piled with provisions generously donated by local businesses. Other tents offered live music, first aid, and kids’ activities. Staff from Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H)and Dartmouth College were available at the NCCC Discovery Tent to teach participants about sun safety and eCigarettes and to tell participants about the research generously funded by Prouty donations.
The Prouty offers activities for elite and beginner athletes alike, trails suitable for recent cancer survivors or for intermediate-level hikers, and routes for every level in between. This year cyclists also rode the 2-day, 200-mile Prouty Ultimate route through Vermont and New Hampshire beginning on Friday; rowers, walkers and golfers all completed their events on Saturday. At the end of their event, many participants stopped to fasten yellow ribbons to the fence at the finish line, each bearing names and messages to loved ones who had fought or died from cancer.
“I’ve never experienced anything like The Prouty before coming here as Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center,” said Steven Leach, MD. “The community spirit at this momentous event, where friends and neighbors come together to support cancer research and patient and family support services, allows us to provide big city comprehensive cancer care in our beautiful rural environment.”
Jean Brown, executive director of the Friends of NCCC spent her day with participants and volunteers. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” said Brown. “The Prouty is a way to challenge yourself physically and feel good about actually doing something about cancer.”