Prouty raises more than $3.15 million

by Jennifer Joo | 7/16/15 8:02pm

More than 5,000 people gathered to participate and volunteer for the 34th annual Prouty on Saturday, Norris Cotton Cancer Center executive director Jean Brown said. The event raised more than $3.15 million for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, which is still continuing to receive donations.

This number is a significant increase from last year’s $2.6 million.

Participants could walk, bike, row or golf this year as well as virtually participate via the Prouty website.

People from 38 different states gathered along with several people from the Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities, Brown said, adding that the weather was ideal for the occasion. The College’s Greek organizations played a prominent role in the Prouty’s success, she said.

Kevin Zhang ’17, a member of Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, served as the volunteer coordinator for all Greek organizations, matching members of different organizations to the volunteer opportunities laid out by the Prouty’s organizers.

“I think we did a great job,” Zhang said. “Dartmouth students participated in 173 volunteer opportunities and contributed over 500 hours of service over the course of three days.”

Theta Delta Chi fraternity raised the most money, with a total of $26,760, according to the Prouty website.

Members of Theta Delt began raising money for the Prouty several months in advance, organization president James Brown ’17 said. A family member of a student in the Class of 2013 in Theta Delt was affected by cancer, so the members raised more than $50,000 for that year’s Prouty. Since then, the Prouty has meant a lot to the house, Brown said, adding that this year, a few members’ parents got their employers to match their donations.

Members of Theta Delt were not the only ones who raised a significant amount of money for the event. Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority philantrophy chair Edom Wessenyeleh ’17 also provided sisters with information regarding the Prouty for several months prior.

Forty-seven members of the house participated, and seven of them chose to take part in the 100-mile bike ride, Wessenyeleh said. To make that possible, she encouraged members to reach out to friends and family for donations.

The sisters of KDE raised the second highest amount, which totaled more than $12,500.

Members of other houses also had creative ways of raising money for the Prouty this year. The sisters of Alpha Phi sorority held a “Popsicles for Prouty” sale, which aimed to provide some relief from the summer heat. The sale raised money that was distributed to the more than 50 APhi members who participated in the Prouty.

“I’m very proud of my sorority as well as the other Greek houses,” philanthropy chair Lauren Gruffi ’17 said. “I was very impressed by the Dartmouth community for coming together and supporting such a worthy cause.”

APhi had close to 100 percent participation in the Prouty this year, with more than 50 girls either biking or walking on Saturday, Gruffi said. They emailed friends, family and alumnae, and also spread awareness by posting on social media sites such as Facebook, she said.

Sigma Delta sorority sold Prouty-themed sports bras for $20 with the slogan “D Supports,” and Alpha Xi Delta sorority held grilled cheese sales to help support its members’ participation.

Brown said that the money raised by the Prouty has a significant impact on cancer research. The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of 41 National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country and is the only one in all of northern New England, Brown said.

Brown said that the Prouty allows the Upper Valley community to unite to fight cancer.

“Everybody is touched by cancer,” she said.

The event is considered a “low dollar, high volume” event, which means that a large number of people jointly raise small amounts of money to contribute to a significant total sum, she said.

The Prouty began in 1982 in honor of Audrey Prouty, a cancer patient who fought ovarian cancer for nine years, Brown said. Prouty developed a close bond with her nurses, and after her passing the nurses wanted to honor her. They decided to bike 100 miles in the White Mountains to raise money for other cancer patients.