It takes a cast of thousands to make the Upper Valley’s
largest fund raising event, The Prouty, succeed. From its’ humble beginnings
over thirty five years ago, this community happening, which funds research and
other projects benefiting the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), relies on the
work and participation of a huge number of area residents. One Lebanon resident
who has played a great role in the success of The Prouty in recent years is
Having moved with her husband to the Upper Valley in 2005 to be closer to their children and grandchildren, Eileen wished to become involved with the organizations here devoted to helping those in need. She first volunteered at the Maynard House, which provides housing for those undergoing treatment at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
As an avid golfer, and having an interest in helping patients and their families, Eileen saw the potential for golf to play a role in raising money for The Prouty. Working with others, including fellow Hanover Country Club board member Jim Wilson, Eileen and her organizing team designed the blueprint for the first Prouty golf event in 2013. The golf component was a welcome addition to the annual event. “Jean Brown (Prouty event director) backed us 100%,” says Eileen. The initial Prouty golf outing, which took place at the Hanover Country Club, raised $50,000 for the NCCC, Eileen says.
It is ironic how life’s timing plays such a role in our experiences. After playing such an instrumental role in organizing the first Prouty golf outing, later that year, following a visit to DHMC for a mammogram, Eileen was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Fortunately, the cancer was caught in the early stages, and Eileen’s treatment proved successful. As a result of her diagnosis, “I saw firsthand the services funded by The Prouty,” says Eileen. “The professional care and support services offered to cancer patients at the (Norris Cotton) Cancer Center is extraordinary,” she says.
Not only does money raised from The Prouty help research efforts, it also funds support assistance and programs for patients. One area of assistance Eileen found particularly beneficial was that devoted to the benefits of nutrition, and proper eating.
Since that pivotal year of 2013, Eileen’s involvement with The Prouty continues. She currently is a board member for the Friends of the NCCC, and remains involved with The Prouty golf event. Since the initial event in 2013, The Prouty golf component has raised $400,000, with about 200 golf participants in 2017. Despite growing the number of participants, and increasing the funds raised, with time and experience the organizing effort “becomes easier for us,” Eileen says.
A main reason for this is the people and businesses involved with the effort, says Eileen. Alex Kirk, head golf pro at the Hanover Country club, is one of those reasons. “Without Alex, this could not happen,” she says. Golf & Ski Warehouse of West Lebanon, the major business sponsor of The Prouty golf event, is another critical factor in the success, says Eileen.