HANOVER — After raising its record high of $2.78 million last year, organizers of the 33rd annual Prouty are not resting on their laurels and aim to surpass last year by raising $3 million this year.
“It’s the 33rd Prouty, we have to go for $3 million, right?” said Rebecca Gray, senior program manager at Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
The event was founded in 1982 by four nurses who were inspired by the strength of Audrey Prouty, who fought cancer for nine years. To raise money in her memory for cancer awareness and cancer research, the nurses pedaled their way across the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The Prouty raises money for cancer patients and cancer research at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
This July more than 5,000 participants and 1,300 volunteers will descend on Hanover to cycle, walk, row or golf toward the goal of $3 million.
Additionally all year long, virtual participants around the world have been re-inventing the event by creating their own version of The Prouty by completing their own walk, bike ride or climb up a mountain.
“It’s a growing part of The Prouty because people do it all over the place. They do it on the Great Wall of China. They’ll do it in France,” Gray said. “There’s lots of different ways to participle in The Prouty.”
Helping The Prouty towards its $3 million goal is a $100,000 challenge from longtime local supporters of the event, The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation of Hanover.
The foundation typically gives $100,000 towards the event each year. This year the foundation has come through again with $100,000, but will add another $100,000 to the event if The Prouty surpasses its fundraising of last year of $2.78 million by $100,000.
So if The Prouty raises $2.88, the Byrne Foundation will give another $100,000, Gray said.
The gift has already motivated Dartmouth Coach and TransCanada to increase its giving this year significantly from $5,000 to $50,000 this year, Gray said.
“The sheer magnitude of cancer and its effect on humanity is almost beyond comprehension,” Norris Cotton Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Israel said in an announcement of the challenge. “And perhaps the most confounding aspect of cancer is the astronomical expense — what it costs to treat; to pursue a cure; and the very, very costly toll of so many lives lost. That’s why The Prouty is important. It enables us in so many ways to make progress against this disease. We are deeply grateful to the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation for motivating our thousands of participants in such a meaningful way.”
The Prouty includes one-day bicycling events ranging from 20 to 100 miles, a two-day 200 mile Prouty Ultimate ride, multiple walk routes, rowing on the nearby Connecticut River and a golf event.
Prouty participants fundraise year-round, with a running total displayed on The Prouty website: www.theprouty.org.
About 87 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to cancer support services and cancer research at nationally recognized Norris Cotton Cancer Center.