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More Than 4,100 Take Part in Prouty, Raising Over $2.6 Million

  • Sisters Autumn, 6, and Haley Thurston, 3, of Vershire, Vt., run across the finish line after taking part in the Prouty 3K for the first time with their grandmother Pam Kovacs, of Cornish, N.H., in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Steven Leach, director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, right, speaks with Doug Lewis, of Pomfret, Vt., after both finished cycling in the 37th annual Prouty fundraiser for the cancer center in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. Lewis formed Team Hoss in 2006, a group of about 100 cyclists, golfers, rowers and walkers who raise money in the Prouty in honor of Lewis' brother Dale "Hoss" Lewis, who died of cancer in 2005. This year, they reached an accumulated $1 million. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Joan Weider, of Hanover, N.H., left, and Barbara Payson, of Thetford, Vt., walk to the starting point of the Prouty 3K as part of the annual fundraiser in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. The friends thought they doubled their distance because they started walking from Weider's home. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College students -- mostly from the school's sororities and fraternities -- volunteered to cheer on those who finished walking and cycling in the Prouty, the 37th annual fundraiser for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Tom Wilson, 87, of Hanover, N.H., acknowledges cheers as he crosses the finish line from a 35-mile ride during the Prouty, the 37th annual fundraiser for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. Part of Team Kendal, Wilson was participating for his 16th year. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A three-year-old female black bear yawns while waiting for several hours about 50 feet above the ground in a large maple tree in the lawn of the SAE fraternity in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. The day's activity from the Prouty and campus tours made the bear nervous to come down, said Hanover Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hinsley. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hanover — Dr. Steven Leach cycled 100 miles on Friday and another 50 on Saturday, joining thousands of others helping to raise funds for the 37th annual Prouty.

Leach, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s director as of September, was an enthusiastic newcomer to the event.

“I came up as a guest (last year), witnessed it and got a glimpse,” Leach said near Saturday’s finish line at Richmond Middle School. “But it’s only since I’ve arrived that I’ve really known what this celebrates in terms of the unique things about Norris Cotton Cancer Center.”

Leach became an avid cyclist when he gave up running because of pain from an old football-induced knee injury.

“At the time, I was depressed,” Leach said. “I thought 40 was old and I was sad to have to give up running. But 18 years later, cycling is my love, so it’s kind of a nice coincidence that I moved here to become director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and one of our major celebrations is a cycling event.”

Leach tuned up for his first Prouty by recently teaming up with a group of 16 Prouty “die-hards” to re-enact the original 100-mile route, traveled by four nurses through the White Mountains in 1982.

This year’s event, which also included walking, rowing and golfing, included some 4,100 people and raised more than $2.6 million, according to event official Kiki Keating. The only mild disruption to the event was when some walkers had to be redirected after coming across a bear perched in a tree along the route.

Individual cyclists paid $150 to ride in one of the Prouty’s various distances, and many formed teams that collectively raised well beyond the minimum registration amount.

Erin and Brian Weigler of Londonderry, along with their seven-year-old daughter, Molly, helped comprise Team Grammie Forever, a five-member group that raised nearly $2,500. Participating in their third Prouty, the Weiglers walked while the other two team-members rode their bikes.

“We lost my mom about four months before our first (Prouty),” Erin Weigler said. “She was a patient at Dartmouth Hitchcock. We wanted to do something because she was doing treatments, so we wanted to give her some support and unfortunately she passed before she could see us do it. … We walk so other people don’t lose their Grammies.”

One small group, comprised of Mike Barton and his 4-year-old twin daughters, Evelyn and Emmanuela, rode as a trio, achieving a collective personal-best for distance in the process.

“We normally go to Cedar Circle Farm and back, and today we went all the way to Lyme and back,” said Barton, who lives in Hanover.

The Barton girls pedaled Saturday behind their father in a tandem-style set-up attached to his mountain bike. The young twins took to cycling this year after being pulled by their father in the past.

“Before this, we had the chariot and we did about 1,300 miles a year,” Barton said. “I would train with these girls in the back. They’d get a nap, I’d train and their mom would get a break.”

Barton, who races bikes, has had a lot of friends and family effected by cancer and wanted to support the event. He was part of a small group that raised nearly $50,000 in Friday’s Virtual Prouty.

Eleven hundred volunteers staffed the two-day event, which culminated with an all-day party at the Richmond School. The festive atmosphere included food, live music and participants of all ages.

Some of the Prouty’s walkers encountered a bear perched in a tree near 38 North College St. in Hanover. Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hinsley responded to the situation on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re keeping a safe boundary for people in the Prouty and the bear,” Hinsley said during a phone interview. “We’re going to let the bear be the bear.”

Hinsley, who thought he recognized the bear from previous sightings, said the animal likely got spooked by all the activity and found a place of natural refuge up in the tree. Hinsley said he expected the bear to return to the forest after things quieted down.

Adam Boffey can be reached at boffeyadam@gmail.com.


A three-year-old female black bear yawns while waiting for several hours about 50 feet above the ground in a large maple tree in the lawn of the SAE fraternity in Hanover, N.H., on July 14, 2018. The day's activity from the Prouty and campus tours made the bear nervous to come down, said Hanover Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hinsley. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »