42nd annual Prouty raises record-breaking $7.7 million for Dartmouth Cancer Center

Prouty paricticipants hold up yellow ribbons.

Our patients today, those to come, and those who care for and support them are directly touched by Prouty-sponsored funding.

Steven D. Leach, MD

A solid week of downpours and thunderstorms did not stop more than 3,500 cyclists, walkers and golfers and more than 750 volunteers from once again breaking records, raising an impressive $7.7 million at The Prouty—northern New England’s largest family-friendly fundraising event.

For 42 years, rain or shine, people from all over the country have raised money for Dartmouth Cancer Center. The funds fuel cancer research, provide equipment for research labs and allow for vital patient and family support services such as massage, reiki, creative arts and support groups through Dartmouth Cancer Center’s Complementary Care Program. Funds also support services such as travel assistance through the cancer center social workers. Some of last year’s record-breaking total went toward increasing access to life-saving clinical trials.

This year, the ambitious $7 million goal was set, in part, with the intention of dedicating a portion of funds to support expansion of the new Dartmouth Cancer Center Food Pantry. A pilot program in 2022 provided 150 patients with almost 800 bags of food in the first 11 months. With 22 percent of patients struggling to afford healthy food, the need for expansion of the Food Pantry is critical.

“We have much to strive for, but also much to celebrate,” said Steven D. Leach, MD, Director of Dartmouth Cancer Center, who has ridden the 2-day Prouty Ultimate bike route through New Hampshire and Vermont each year since becoming Director in 2017. “The Prouty makes so much possible at Dartmouth Cancer Center. It helps fund cancer research, patient support services and improved access to clinical trials. Our patients today, those to come, and those who care for and support them are directly touched by Prouty-sponsored funding.”

An example of the impact that seed funding can make right here in our community is the Emerging Diagnostic and Investigative Technologies (EDIT) program directed by Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD. Researcher Joshua J. Levy, PhD, and pathologist Louis J. Vaickus, MD, PhD, co-directors of the artificial intelligence (AI) pillar of EDIT, received a Prouty Pilot grant to use AI imaging technologies to come up with more accurate and lower-cost solutions to cancer staging challenges. Their project also provided an opportunity to incorporate EDIT to train regional high school students in AI through a virtual internship. These students are learning how to use innovative AI technologies and advance translational biomedical research through mentoring, tutorials and workshops. They have already achieved 20 first-author publications and two of the students have presented at international conferences.

The day started with an opening ceremony of collective accomplishments and inspiring stories that united the Prouty community together as one powerful, cancer-fighting force. In tribute during the ceremony, participants carried yellow ribbons bearing the names and messages in honor of loved ones for whom they were participating. At the end of their events, many participants fastened their yellow ribbons to the fence at the finish line.

The Prouty offers activities for everyone, from elite athletes to those just beginning. Jaclynn Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Friends of Dartmouth Cancer Center, who, with a team of community volunteers organizes The Prouty every year, spent her day with the crowds who turned out for the cause. “It is truly inspiring how our community comes together in a big way to support the patients and families at Dartmouth Cancer Center,” said Rodriguez. “Sadly we had to cancel the rowing event due to the heavy rains earlier this week, as safety is top priority. Even still, our Prouty community persevered toward the ultimate finish line—a world without cancer.”

Post-event donations are still welcome and encouraged. For a running total on the 42nd annual Prouty earnings for cancer research and patient services, please visit TheProuty.org.

Watch the 2023 Prouty Opening Ceremony video:


About Dartmouth Cancer Center

Dartmouth Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, with award-winning, personalized, and compassionate patient-centered cancer care and clinical trials based at the Norris Cotton Cancer Care Pavilion at Dartmouth Health's Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. With 14 locations around New Hampshire and Vermont, Dartmouth Cancer Center is one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Each year the Dartmouth Cancer Center schedules 74,000 appointments seeing more than 4,500 newly diagnosed patients, and currently offers patients more than 240 active clinical trials. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, Dartmouth Cancer Center remains committed to excellence, outreach and education. We strive to prevent and cure cancer, enhance survivorship and to promote cancer health equity through pioneering interdisciplinary research and collaborations. Learn more at the Dartmouth Cancer Center website.