Prouty raises $2.4 million for cancer

by Diana Ming | 7/16/12 10:00pm

8718_article_photo
07.17.12.news.prouty_courtesyphilippamartinez-berrier

"This year's Prouty totally surpassed my expectations," Brown said. "It's always amazing when you come back every year to the site and there are thousands of people excited about making a difference."

The Prouty consisted of four events cycling, walking and rowing, as well as the Prouty Ultimate, a two-day cycling event from Manchester, N.H., to Hanover, according to Brown. Prouty volunteers helped with the logistics of planning and staffing the events, Brown said. While this year's Prouty was scheduled to occur from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Prouty's base at Richmond Middle School site was evacuated at approximately 3:30 p.m. due to lightning and thunder, Brown said. Participants were taken off-route and were bused back to the base, she said.

"Luckily the storm dissipated about an hour after we made the call [to shut down]," she said. "We were very pleased that we had the right emergency systems in place so we knew we were prepared to act accordingly."

Nearly 300 sophomores affiliated with Dartmouth Greek houses volunteered for the Prouty, according to Mark Andriola '14, who coordinated the Greek community's volunteer efforts.

"It was really awesome to see everyone get out there for such a fun and meaningful event," Andriola said. "To see college kids taking hours out of their Saturday to set up and help is great, especially for such an important cause."

Greek organizations compete each year to encourage student participation and volunteering, according to Andriola. The house with the highest participation rates which will be determined in the coming weeks wins $1,000 from the Prouty organizers, Andriola said.

Among Dartmouth organizations, Theta Delta Chi fraternity has raised the most money to date, totaling $31,223, and recruited 34 members, according to the Prouty website.

TDX, which has shown strong participation and donations for the event in past years, raised the most money out of any Dartmouth organization for last year's Prouty, collecting $51,907.

"We've been affected as a house by family members and alumni who have been affected by cancer," Bronson Green '14, a member of TDX, said. "We take great pride in raising a lot of money. It's been a tradition in the house for a couple of years to work really hard for this cause."

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority summer president Rachel Ofori '14 said that it was "wonderful" to see so many Greek Houses involved in the Prouty.

"It's great to see that the community at Dartmouth could come together for such a special event," she said.

Kappa raised $20,370, the second highest of any Dartmouth organization, and recruited 33 members to participate, according to the website.

"I was very humbled and surprised that the girls in Kappa took it so seriously," Ofori said. "We kept efforts very focused in the house. It wasn't just about asking parents for money. People really reached out to extended family and friends and businesses and put a lot of heart into supporting this."

Brown said she was impressed by Dartmouth students' interest and participation in the event.

"The sophomores were really fantastic this year," she said. "The football team helped us carry heavy equipment, girls from [Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority] sponsored a [rest stop] the list goes on. We needed a fresh influx of people and brains, and the students really stepped up."

In addition to student effort, Brown said that interim College President Carol Folt's support for the Prouty was a highlight of the event. Folt greeted and encouraged Prouty participants for two hours on Friday night, Brown said.

This year's Prouty also marked the second year that the rowing event took place. Brown said that the rowing component was "extremely successful," with a 40 percent increase in participation.

Carly Rauh '14, a rower on the women's crew team, completed the "Row the Prouty" 20-mile event in a mixed boat that included five members of the men's heavyweight rowing team and four female rowers.

"It was a really nice and fun way to do the Prouty," Rauh said. "We row all year long, so it's fulfilling when our hard work all year round can contribute to an event like this."

The Prouty is a special event that remains popular because of the interest it draws from community members across the Upper Valley, according to Brown.

"In some way, cancer really does touch everyone, and if it touches you closely enough, it's painful and frustrating," she said. "The Prouty lets you do something about it because the money you raise to challenge yourself physically makes a difference."

The money raised supports both patient care and research affiliated with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Brown said.

The event, which began in 1982, is named in honor of Audrey Prouty, a cancer patient who made a profound impact on the nurses who treated her, according to the center's website.

Following Prouty's death, the nurses decided to bike 100 miles to raise money for other cancer patients.

In the first Prouty, the four nurses raised $4,000 for the center. Since then, the event has expanded to include thousands of volunteers and participants and numerous events, according to the event website.