30th Prouty Shatters Fundraising Records

This past Friday and Saturday, after months of fundraising efforts, thousands of men and women from across the Upper Valley and beyond walked, rowed, and biked in the 30th annual Prouty fundraiser. 

The Prouty began back in 1982 with the efforts of Patricia Carney, a cancer researcher and staff nurse at DHMC’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center. In her second year at DHMC, Carney met a woman named Audrey Prouty, who had been battling ovarian cancer for over nine years. The two formed a bond that would transcend the short time they spent together, as Audrey died soon after they met, on July 7, 1982. That summer, Carney and three other nurses organized a 100-mile bike ride through the White Mountains of New Hampshire in honor of Audrey. The Audrey Prouty Memorial Bike Ride and Challenge Walk has been held annually ever since.

In 1982, the four nurses raised $5,000 to benefit cancer treatment and research at DHMC.  Although donations are still being counted, this year’s fundraiser has already shattered the previous record of $2.2 million. Although it began as a 100-mile bike ride, the Prouty has evolved to include rides ranging from 20 to 200 miles (the two-day Prouty Ultimate), as well as walks, and for the first time this year, rowing.  Dartmouth students have always had a large hand in fundraising, and this year proved no exception. Greek organizations, as well as other student groups, made a strong showing as both volunteers and participants. 

Among them, Theta Delta Chi once again proved their fundraising mettle. In fact, their $51,907 (a number which they didn’t hesitate to flaunt later that night) was the fifth highest among all teams participating in the Prouty.

I was among those that dared to take on the Century Ride, 100 miles through the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire and along the shores of the Connecticut River. Having taken my very first spin on a road bike the day before, I arose Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. I woke my friend and teammate, and, ever so slowly, we made our way up the hill towards Lyme. There is no start-time for any of the events at the Prouty, but it was clear that most people, especially those riding the Century, were already on their way. Undiscouraged, we set off at a gingerly pace, the best that any college kids could manage so early on a Saturday. Needless to say, what followed was a great deal of riding, along with breaking, eating, and drinking at the many stops along the way. There were ups and downs, both literally and figuratively. Losing my water bottle around the 40th mile (we refused to lose time by going back) certainly didn’t make the latter half any easier.

But nothing in my Dartmouth past can quite compare. The Prouty is truly the grand tour of the Upper Valley, and something that every able-bodied Dartmouth student should experience at least once. As for me, I already have my calendar marked for next year’s.

Thomas L. Hauch